"Behind a Convict's Eyes" by K.C. Cerceral
This paper is about the book 'Behind a Convict's Eyes' by K.C. Cerceral. This book was written by a young man who enters prison on a life sentence and describes the world around him. Life in prison is a subculture of its own, this subculture has its own society, language and cast system. The book describes incidents that have happen in prison to inmates. With this paper I will attempt to explain the way of life in a prison from an inmate's view.
Understanding Prison Life
After reading the book I have gained a new understanding of what inmates think about in prison. Working in an institution, I have a certain cynical attitude at times with inmates and their requests. Working in a reception facility, this is a facility where inmates are brought in from the county jails to the state intake facility, we deal with a lot of requests and questions. At times, with the phone ringing off the hook from family members and inmates with their prison request forms, you get a little cynical and tired of answering the same questions over and over. As I read the book I begin to understand some of the reason for the questions. Inmate(s) now realize that the officers and administrative personnel are in control of their lives. They dictate with to get up in the morning, take showers, eat meals, go to classes, the need see people for different reason, when to exercise and when to go to bed. The lost of control over their lives is a new experience for some and they would like to be able to adjust to this new lost of freedom. Upon understanding this and in reading the book, I am not as cynical as I have been and try to be more patient in answering questions. So in a way I have changed some of my thinking and understanding more of prison life.
Describe Strategies and Compare with Voices from the Field
Some of the adaptation strategies used by ?Anonymous? and the other inmates in prison where to use nicknames to feel more individual and unique. Being in prison can cause you to lose your identity as a person, most inmates are known by numbers. Another strategy was to conform to the schedule of the prisons. You can not eat when you want, shower, get up, go to recreation and go to bed. Everyone has a schedule and working with this schedules helps to learn how to cope. Also Anonymous and other inmates would take classes or vocational shops. This would help to alleviate the boredom and helps to adapt. Sometimes the inmates run scams on the officers. They would try to outsmart the officers to their advantage. This was a way to adapt to difficult correction officers. One other adaptation is to have associates not friends. This is for mostly self-preservation in the prison. There is a code of convicts which states ?...do no favors and request none? (Carceral, 2004, pp. 122). Adhere to the code is expected of most long term prisoners.
In the Voices from the Field, most inmates are short term inmates. These...