Imprisonment By Isha & Shannon
What is Imprisonment? • Putting someone in prison or in jail as lawful punishment • Legal definition: The restraint of a person contrary to his will • Imprisonment is either lawful or unlawful; lawful imprisonment is used either for crimes or for the appearance of a party in a civil suit, or on arrest in execution • Imprisonment is the last resort, where less restrictive sanctions are inappropriate
Deterrence There are 2 types: • General discouraging the public from committing the crime; setting an example • Specific Punishing the criminal so that once released, he or she will never commit the crime again; teaching them a lesson • Incapacitation to prevent the offender from committing any further crimes while in prison • Rehabilitation re-socializing the offender and providing necessary skills • Retribution punishing the offender as a consequence; the punishment is designed according to the type of crime committed and given in proportion to the offense
Goals of Imprisonment (continued) • However, there is doubt about whether or not prisons actually serve their purpose • For example: does the influence of other dangerous criminals really help to re-socialize inmates?
Stanford Prison Experiment (SPE) Objective: To investigate the psychological impact of imprisonment • How prisoners and guards would adapt to their roles? • Under what conditions would role playing simulation become too real? • Would behavior be attributed to dispositional characteristics or the power of the situation? • How participants would adapt to the new situation where prisoners lose their rights and privacy? • How guards gain power and social status? • What causes the brutality of the prison population, guards, or social psychological environment of the experience?
Origins of the SPE • Phillip Zimbardo students participated in a weekend simulation prison experiment held in a dormitory in 1971 • The results of guards and prisoners were shocking; long lasting friendships were destroyed (due to attributing behavior to dispositional factors) • Many participants needed therapy, which did not remove hostility to former friends in the weekend study
SPE (continued) • 22 male subjects chosen based on mature, stable, social, and ‘normal’ characteristics; 10 prisoners, 11 guards (1 participant dropped out) • Participants were randomly assigned to conditions: • Clothing, room conditions, ID…
To put guards into character Clothing – khaki uniforms to convey military attitudes Whistle and night stick- to represent control and power Sunglasses- to create anonymity They were told to maintain reasonable order for effective functioning but not told how this would be done or what situations they’d face much room for improvisation Roles of participants (prisoners) were adapted by dehumanizing them were arrested from homes at random fingerprinted, ID file prepared and placed in detention cell taken to experimental prison and were stripped, sprayed, and made to stand alone naked before given uniform, photo taken Role Adaptation • Both uniforms helped create group identity and reduced individual uniqueness in both groups Guards conveyed military attitudes, with symbols of power (stick) and prisoners outfits symbolized their dependence and being inferior
On the 6th day, the study was terminated due to the horrific impact it had on participants Prisoners and guards conformed to their roles, proving that the situation had a greater effect than dispositional factors There were no differences on any of the personality measures for all participants; every participant was capable of cruel behavior Everything came down to radical principles and fundamental basics; ideas revolved around survival and by being cut off from past clichés, the illusion became real for them Journal Entry From One of the Guards… Prior to the experiment: “As I am a passivist and non aggressive individual, I can not see a time when I might guard and/or maltreat other living things….” After orientation meeting: “…I doubt whether many of us share the expectations of ‘seriousness’ that the experimenters seems to have…” During the experiment: “…I made sure I was one of the guards on the yard because this was my first chance for the type of manipulative power that I really liked—being a very noticed figure with almost complete control over what is said or not…” *(Taken from page 50) Results
Video Zimbardo Prison Experiment Video clip • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0jYx8nwjFQ&NR=1
Prison System Functioning Over the Years… • Late 1960’s to early 1970’sPrisoners rights movement emerged, causing political consciousness to be raised about treatment and rights of prisoners • By the late 1980’sThe effort to reform prisons was replaced by a counterproductive moment, where certain politicians and the media fueled an over reaction to crime created doubt and fear, disregarding humane treatment of prisoners • Society use to want to rehabilitate prisoners to become better citizens but this belief was abandoned publicly and politically • REHABILITATION WAS DISCREDITED!
THE PRISON LITIGATION REFORM ACT (PLRA) • The US congress passed legislation titled THE PRISON LITIGATION REFORM ACT (PLRA) that reduced federal courts authority to monitor and reform infractions in prison facility throughout the country • This also slowed appointment of special masters who oversaw prison systems compliance with court orders and disallowed legal action by prisoners for emotional or physical injury without first showing them
Who has control? • This transformation had influence on Judges losing full control legislator and political interference created harsher sentences (moved away from individual sentencing) • The increase in sentencing caused an overpopulation in prisons, resulting in a large construction of prisons however populations has continued to grow • American prisons have reached an ultimate high, even though crime rate has dropped, jail population has continued to growdesire for punishment has taken on a life of its own
Bandura’s Social Learning Theory • Learning through observing other people’s behavior, attitudes and outcomes from their behavior • This theory best applies to youth who may engage in violent offenses and other criminal behavior due to what the influence of what they have been subjected to • This also relates to imprisonment, as inmates imprisoned for minor offenses may be influenced by the beliefs and attitudes of other inmates who have been incarcerated for severe or violent crimes
Person’s traits, tendencies, and style Demographics (e.g. male, juvenile offences) Attitudinal Personality variables age, negative attitude, and psychopathy) Situational factors (environment) Access to victims and weapons Lack of social supports Perceived stress-P.333 Textbook Dispositional vs. Situational
De-individuation & Anonymity • De-individuation Loss of personal identity resulting from becoming part of a group and can also occur in situations where people feel unknown • De-humanizing prisoners causes them to withdraw this is done so that inmates do not create problems in or out of prison • Institutions create a loss of individuality same treatment for all • When a person’s uniqueness is taken away, it causes antisocial behavior and less concern for others • pro-social behavior enhances one’s self of self-recognition and identity
De-individuation & Anonymity • Institutions try to make people into manageable objects for convenience and this is where the social scientist/psychologist can see how this is such a dehumanizing process • This process doesn’t allow a person to enhance his human potential or contribute to society • The role being adopted allows one to hide behind the assigned role, which becomes the ultimate self deception • people get strange satisfaction from this behavior, such as being a tough prisoner or sadistic guards • Certain behavior is taken on, which may be different from a person’s values • E.g. degrading other human beings
De-individuation & Anonymity • Choice helps to create self identity and institutions take these options away • It is difficult to control others when they have choices • There is a belief that by removing emotion, we are elevating reason this is done in ALL institutions (e.g schools) • Emotion is seen as a weakness and makes one vulnerable to influence by others • People sometime seek anonymity when they fear others around them in their environment are threatening • Example: University of California incident where people unlisted their numbers after Patricia Hearst was kidnapped and later became a kidnapper herself • If a person is labeled as just anyone, there is freedom to do anything (including crime) without a sense of claiming responsibility or being identified
The Lucifer Effect • The title, “Lucifer Effect”, originates from the Christian beliefs of Lucifer, God’s favorite angel, who eventually is transformed into Satan • The book describes the alteration of human character by the influence of certain circumstances • Zimbardo’s novel discusses the connections between the Abu Ghraib case and the Stanford prison experiments • Zimbardo outlines the events that took place in both situations and explains each individual’s capability of engaging in cruel and horrific acts • Key aspects: • Anonymity and Deindividuation
Video Clip The Lucifer Effect & Abu Ghraib Clip: • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IwXzIubpQq0
Abu Ghraib Prison Torture • U.S military tortured, humiliated, abused and even killed prisoners in the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad, Iraq between 2003-2004 • With many limited medical resources, many Medical personnel at the prison used leashes, placed around the neck, to control mentally-ill prisoners • Amputations were also performed by those who were not doctors and many of the tools used on the deceased were passed on to the living in the prison • The commander of the prison believed that approximately 90% of inmates were innocent • The inhumane treatment at the prison helped to pass a law recently… “One of the most horrific incidents of abuse, according to Kern, took place when dog-handling teams menaced two Iraqi teenage detainees in a kind of contest to see who could make them foul themselves in fear.”http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/08/25/abughraib.report/index.html
What is Selective Incapacitation? • This is a process used to help the criminal justice system decide which offenders require imprisonment and which do not • Factors such as the severity of the crime and a past record are used as reference to decide on the type and length of punishment • However, this process does not always ensure that the most severe crime will receive the harshest sentence; minor crimes sometimes get extremely harsh punishments • Psychologist are not included in this decision making process; their contribution could have a great impact in understanding the effect and severity of the crime and help to create more appropriate sentencing
What changes need to be made? • The Criminal Justice System should begin to reflect the knowledge obtained by psychologists and researches in regards to the issues of the prison system and its implications • Psychologists should be part of the sentencing process and help to determine alternatives • Focusing on a more proactive approach, rather than a reactive approach • Institutional structures need to be altered if research shows the situation to play a vital role, the environment of the prison needs to be changed so that both guards and prisoners are not altered negatively by the setting • Incorporating more transitional programs and rehabilitation programs to help achieve some of the goals of imprisonment • What other changes do you think would be beneficial?
What have we learned? • Research such as with the SPE has shown us that the power of the environment can be stronger than the people involved in the situation • Routines in prisons become very set and rules are sometimes changed without question certain policies come into play due to a crisis situation and even after, remain, and prisons often resistant change to their routines • Legal mechanisms should not look at intentions of guards or prisoners but should look at the context that influences their behavior people may have good intentions but harm can still be done • More activism is needed from social scientists and psychologists to question the policies and be involved with the decision making process irrational decisions are often made • Prison change only happens if people outside of the prison situation have power to change it; The legal system has a hands off approach, where power is given to correctional officials and not the courts
Alternatives to Prison • Prisons are expensive and are becoming overcrowded • They also lead to long lasting psychological effects on the prisoners as was shown through the SPE • Prisons have become more a sense of punishment rather than focusing on it’s original purpose of rehabilitation • Therefore, it is important to look at alternatives to prison “But in a country with the world’s largest prison population, and where some states, like California, are accused of devoting more resources to the upkeep of criminals than on education--alternate punishments are now a question of necessity”
Treatment Programs • Forcing criminals to participate in a treatment program that must be successfully completed or else they will be sentenced to prison. • Offering counseling to prisoners as they enter and are ready to leave prison to help them adjust from prison life to the real world • Putting criminals to work in schools (e.g. intelligent corporate criminals to be escorted to schools daily) • E.g. Drug treatment program created by Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said its graduates were 87% less likely than others to return to prison. The pioneering initiative is now run in at least 15 counties across New York State.
Making prisoners pay a fee for their room and board • Goal is to help pay for the high prison costs, and also to reduce psychological problems with the prisoners by giving them a better living experience (better food, better cells) • E.g. In 1996, prisons in Missouri, Connecticut and New Mexico charged between $8 and $65 for better living conditions • Q. Do prisoners deserve better living conditions because they can afford it? What types of crimes should be excluded from this possibility?
Giving criminals poor living conditions while being put on house arrest • This involves forcing criminals to live in apartments with bad heating, poor water systems, etc. • E.g. This idea came to into play when a landlord who was forcing tenants to live in an apartment with leaky pipes, no heating, and rodents, was sentenced to stay in one of his apartments for 15 days straight. He was given an electronic ankle cuff to ensure he didn’t leave • Q. In cases like these, is punishment more effective than rehabilitation?
Creating crime prevention programs • Focus on trying to prevent crime before it even happens by creating awareness and helping communities with high crime rates by offering financial aid, counseling, etc. • Have counselors and outreach teams work one on one with juvenile offenders to prevent them from ending up in jail as an adult • E.g. The University of Illinois’ School of Public Health monitors shootings throughout Chicago on a 24-hour basis. When a shooting is reported members from the neighbourhood and churches gather at the scene to express their disapproval, through rallies, setting up monuments or prayer services in hopes to prevent further shootings.
Crime Prevention Programs (continued) • "Our goal is to create safer communities. The way to do that is for the government to invest in housing, education and job training. We know that communities where these needs are met have lower crime rates.” • Ignition Interlocks: Installing breathalysers into cars that must prove the driver ha snot been drinking before the car is able to start to prevent drunk driving accidents.
Chemical Castration • Repeat child molesters are injected with a drug called Depo-Provera to inhibit testosterone and therefore eliminate their sex drive. (The drug has to be injected every month for it to continue being effective.) • Other Alternatives: • The Billboard Project men who pursued prostitutes would have their names written on a billboard for all to see
Interesting yet Disturbing Facts… • In Canada, aboriginal offenders make up ~17% of federal prison inmates • However, they are only about 3% of the general population! • ¼ of people convicted for violent offenses, while ¾ were convicted for non-violent properties or immigration violations • African Americans are 6% of the general population in the U.S but make up 48% of prison population • They were 6x more likely to go to prison in 1992 and this grew to 7.5x more likely in 1995 • ¼ of people incarcerated for non-violent crimes return to prison for second time for a violent crime • prisons transmit violence and anger
U.S. vs. US • USA has the highest rate of incarceration with 737 per 100 000 persons found in prison • USA imprisons 3 times more women than any other nation (183 400 women in US prisons vs. 13 350 women in prisons in India) • Russia second highest rate of incarceration with over 600 per 100 000 persons found in prison • India 31 per 100 000 persons found in prison • Canada 107 per 100 000 persons found in prison
Crime Rates • Crime rates in the U.S. are higher than other countries • Police brutality rates are the highest • However, while crime rates are high, they do not account for the high number of people who are in prisons. • Even as crime rates are steadily declining, incarceration rates are rising
International Transfer of Offenders Act • Q. What should happen if a criminal is convicted abroad? • Canadians are protected from being sentenced abroad by the International Transfer of Offenders Act • Criminals are brought back to Canada for the remainder of their sentence and are able to participate in rehabilitation programs. • “Conditions of confinement in some countries impose severe hardships on Canadians, Alleviating those hardships ultimately serves to protect society, since it ensures that the offenders returning to Canada will be better prepared to lead law-abiding lives upon their eventual return to society.”
Innocence Project • Focuses on helping innocent people escape jail and receive compensation for the injustice • How? DNA evidence, eyewitness testimonials, unreliable forensic evidence and false confessions are brought into play • Started by Betty Anne Waters in 1986 because her brother was sentenced to life in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. • She became a lawyer and found biological evidence to prove her brother, Kenneth Waters, was innocent, and continues to help others become free through DNA testing. • Kenneth was freed from prison 17 years later.
Youth Criminal Act • The Youth Criminal Justice Act replaced The Juvenile Delinquents Act in 2003 • The Youth Criminal Justice Act are rules and principles protecting the rights of youth between the ages of 12-17 who have committed a crime • The total number of crimes committed by youth has been falling over the last few years but at the same time, the number of serious offences being committed has been increasing
Youth Criminal Act (continued) • Many of the youthful offenders suffer from common disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder • Risk factors for youthful offenders include: Individual factors (difficult temperament), familial factors (poor supervision), school factors (reading difficulties), and social factors (delinquent peers) • However, many feel the Youth Criminal Act may serve as an escape for children taking responsibility for committing violent crimes/murder and therefore, proper sentencing isn’t given “…all he got was a slap on the wrist…”
Treatment for Youth “…the younger the person is at the time of his or her first offence, the greater the likelihood that person will engage in criminal behavior and violence… ” • Protective factors are factors that allow children to carry on when they face difficult times • This provides a buffer against the risk factors children may experience Protective factors include: • Individual factors- adaptive coping mechanisms • Familial factors warm and caring parent-child relationship • Social factors positive role models The attitude towards youthful criminals is based more around re-socializing and providing the youth with the proper skills and attitude to function in society
Psychological Effects of Imprisonment • Chronophobia A condition most prisoners feel that involves an intense and irrational fear of time that is characterized by feelings of panic, anxiety, and claustrophobia. • Dissatisfaction with life • Depression • Stress • Feelings of panic • Delusions • Loss of identity • Out of touch with family and friends causing feelings of intense loneliness • Thoughts of suicide • Q. What, if anything, should be done to help prisoners deal with this condition? Should they be forced to suffer with it because it is part of their sentence, or should it be treated as a separate psychological disorder?