Sample Criminal Justice Essay Paper on Socialization in Corrections

Socialization in Corrections

Socialization denotes the long-standing practice of acquiring and spreading standards, practices, and principles that offer a person the skills that are required to take part effectively in the community or group. It signifies the progression of learning all through life and is a major factor in the conduct, convictions, and activities of people (Rennison & Dodge, 2017). The practice of doing jail time may be life-changing for the people ensnared in the correctional facilities, be they jail workers or prisoners. A wide pool of studies affirms that the socialization problems of doing jail time are greatly disregarded in public accounts by the media and concealed from public viewpoint by officers of the criminal justice system and politicians. Correctional facilities are not just enclosed by high concrete walls and electric wires but also barricades of segregation, stereotype, and privacy. This paper will evaluate the environment of correctional facilities, its effects on acculturation and socialization amid prisoners, and the strategic and social practices that could enhance socialization to prevent the ensuing problems.

The Environment of Correctional Facilities and Its Influence on Acculturation and Socialization

            The public has been safeguarded from any physical harm that may be caused by inmates and as well, less reasonably, from the understanding of the things that take place behind the high walls. All the secrecy that has typified most of the current correctional facilities hinder effective socialization of inmates, public’s capacity to assist in shaping government strategies, rectification of abuses, comprehension of crime, assessment of programs and policies at the detention centers, and reassessment of the expensive and unimpressive system of criminal justice penalizations. The secrecy that guards the detention centers has also been found to veil the setting in local jail systems and has the ability to cause abnormal police conduct (Rennison & Dodge, 2017). Debatably, the fundamental rationales behind the problems in the correctional facilities are associated with poor socialization and nonexistence of public assessment of the dissonant prison environment attributable to the political prevention of disputes on matters concerning the deplorable situations present in most of the detention centers across the globe coupled with a public unconcern toward the welfare of the inmates who have been marked as the community’s misfits and perverts.  

            With the society changing from one that treasured the worth of property and people to a disposable setting where individuals alleged to have committed a crime are easily rejected devoid of thought or consideration, akin to ease of disposing trash, the problems facing the disenfranchised and destitute prisoners locked in discordant correctional facilities ought to be cause for consideration, for dread that they too might turn out to be disposable items. Researchers have asserted that it is much simpler to block a person’s fears with the use of high concrete walls and electric wires when judged against addressing the realism of criminal encounters in the troubled community. Nevertheless, it appears that the inmates that the society has made to be out of sight as well as out of mind have continued to exist in deplorable conditions where they are deformed by the situations in which suffering is enormous (Rennison & Dodge, 2017). The officials in the correctional facilities may also become swayed by the prison conditions leading to a professional advancement that has the negative effects of the situations of an awful operating environment in the detention centers.   

            The present literature on the criminal justice system with respect to the socialization of inmates has extensively presented the suffering of prisoners and the lasting impact of being in detention. In the early 2000s, it is estimated that about 650,000 prisoners were set free from correctional facilities in the United States, which accounts for at least 1,740 prisoners freed each day on average (Søndenaa, Wangsholm, & Roos, 2016). Studies affirm that re-socialization in the course of re-integration and re-entry of inmates into the community is an imperative aspect to the people heading the criminal justice systems, governments, and members of the society, anchored in the proportion of the prison population set free every year. Faced with the concern of inmates’ re-entry into the society, it appears impossible to wait even for two more decades for resolutions of the vexing challenges concerning socialization in corrections and its impact on re-integration as well as aberrant conduct.    

            The re-entry of inmates results in numerous problems to policymakers, officers in the criminal justice system, and the society members. Correctional facilities hold some of the worst conditions in which a human being can exist (Silva, 2015). Such deplorable conditions may be typified by increased instances of mental illness amid prisoners, unpredictability emanating from ethnic and social seclusion, overcrowding, inadequately educated inmates, restricted and lowly financed prisoners’ vocational and educational programs, epidemic medical concerns, and increasing the poor socio-economic status of prisoners. Exposure to such in addition to other harsh conditions each day to prisoners has debilitating impacts and effects on both the prisoners’ and the officials’ social life and conduct.  

            Over and above adhering to the official regulations of correctional facilities, there are informal directives and standards that form a proportion of the undocumented but crucial prison culture and code of conduct and which must be met. For most inmates, this calls for guarding oneself against the ills of the surrounding environment through satisfying all the norms, encompassing the abusive and intense ideals of life in detention (Silva, 2015). It is evident that inmates are offered no optional culture in which to exist. The lack of welfare programs has divested them of positive undertakings and pro-social conducts in which to take part in while in the correctional facilities. Endeavors to tackle most of the fundamental requirements and demands that are at the heart of daily life in the free world such as recreation, working, and having ample time and conjugal rights with their spouses, only pushes them further into the terrible prison culture, which acts as the only evident and consequential means of existence. 

            The culture in the correctional facilities frowns on all indications of susceptibility and weakness and thwarts the articulation of the candid sentiments and intimacy. Most of the inmates are compelled to take life in incarceration in a manner that facilitates the venture into a person’s reputation for toughness while promoting the perspective toward other individuals where even apparently trivial insults or offenses have to be dealt with fast, impulsively, and violently. In male detention centers, it encourages a form of hypermasculinity where violence and supremacy are valued as fundamental elements of personal identity (Becerra, Becerra, Gerdine, & Banta, 2014). In a setting typified by ensuing helplessness and deprivation, male and female prisoners face warped norms of sexuality where submission and supremacy get entwined with and confused about the source of prisoners’ interrelations.        

Strategic and Social Practices for the Enhancement of Socialization

Correctional facilities should not be institutions that are planned for the realization of just the retributive and restraint facets of punishment. To facilitate socialization and better the conditions in correctional facilities, the leadership of criminal justice systems should endeavor to make them places in which prisoners are held not as forgotten or discarded members of the community but as people handled with dignity with the aim of transforming the behavior for later release into the society as responsible citizens. For the inmates, the incarceration itself is an enough punishment thus correctional facilities should operate as places for effective rehabilitation and not centers where punishment is enforced leading to the infringement of the human rights of prisoners. Stringent measures of deprivation such as incarceration in isolation cells, use of bar fetters, and being hand-cuffed for a long time influence the socialization of prisoners negatively and may cause psychological and social problems. The effects of such approaches are adverse and are contrary to the program of social rehabilitation of the inmates since they amount to uncalled-for punishment that reduces a human being to more of an animal (Peshkovskaya et al., 2017). In this regard, it is evident that such methods ought to be outlawed or in any case not employed beyond the limitations existing under the set regulations and while taking into consideration the avoidance of unfair punishment.

To enhance the socialization and well-being of prisoners, the leaders of the correctional facilities should propose ways of giving the inmates access to gainful tasks after they have acquired meaningful job proficiencies to assist them to earn sufficient compensation. The prisoners who have acquired the relevant skills should be assigned menial jobs, which they can undertake for a few hours in the day. For the prisoners serving long jail terms, they should be given highly regulated and regular conjugal visits where sexual contact with their spouses is not prohibited. The lack of conjugal visits makes the inmates symbolically castrated through unintentional celibacy hence leading to the sense of powerlessness and helplessness, which is intimidating and inhumane (Chara, 2015; Harrison, 2008). Finally, to facilitate effective re-entry of prisoners into the society after release, laws should be made to ensure that they are taught, gain knowledge, and acquire the skills required to live in a civilized way in the free world. Up to when the necessary skills (in addition to actual education and valuable vocational training) are demanded by law as a prerequisite of release from correctional facilities, countries across the globe will keep on detaining more and more of their population. The actuality in the failure of the criminal justice system to effectively rehabilitate inmates is evident in the rising cases of recidivism and proves that there can never be successful rehabilitation devoid of socialization.          

Conclusion

Socialization represents the long-term practice of attaining and sharing practices and values that give a person the skills that are necessary to take part successfully in the society or group. Being exposed to harsh conditions in correctional facilities each day has debilitating effects and influences on the prisoners’ social life and behavior. To promote socialization and improve conditions in correctional facilities, inmates ought to be treated with dignity to transform their conduct for later release into the community as responsible people. It is impossible to realize effective rehabilitation without socialization.             

References

Becerra, B. J., Becerra, M. B., Gerdine, M. C., & Banta, J. E. (2014). Religion, acculturation, and incarceration: Determinants of substance use among Hispanic adults in the United States. Journal of environmental and public health, 2014(1), 1-5. Retrieved from https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2014/459596/

Chara, T. (2015). Conjugal visits: A far-fetched idea? The Sunday Mail. Retrieved from http://www.sundaymail.co.zw/conjugal-visits-a-far-fetched-idea/

Harrison, D. (2008). Only the guilty go quietly to the gallows. Retrieved from http://www.frominside.com/prisoners.htm

Peshkovskaya, A. G., Babkina, T. S., Myagkov, M. G., Kulikov, I. A., Ekshova, K. V., & Harriff, K. (2017). The socialization effect on decision making in the prisoner’s dilemma game: An eye-tracking study. PloS one, 12(4), 1-10. Retrieved from http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0175492

Rennison, C. M., & Dodge, M. (2017). Introduction to criminal justice: Systems, diversity, and change. New York: Sage Publications. Retrieved from https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=4dc5DQAAQBAJ&pg=PA296&lpg=PA296&dq=12+prison+life+and+life+after+prison-+Renninson&source=bl&ots=WAEN6NEZFs&sig=zI0WcA2HlpeJf3CbHmgebotGUj4&hl=en&sa=X&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=12%20prison%20life%20and%20life%20after%20prison-%20Renninson&f=false

Silva, R. D. (2015). The social pedagogical effectiveness of imprisonment. Educação e Pesquisa, 41(1), 33-48.

Søndenaa, E., Wangsholm, M., & Roos, E. (2016). Case characteristics of prisoners with communication problems. Open Journal of Social Sciences, 4(04), 31-35.