Hard Time: Worse Of The Worse

1484 words - 6 pages

A life behind bars is not an easy life, but a life that many people become accustom to, not because these people want to, but because they have to. The prison life is one that includes adverse challenges, dangerous situations, gang violence, and unpleasant living conditions. As shown in the documentary, Hard Time: Worst of the Worst, the inmates at the Southern Ohio Correction Facility in Lucasville, Ohio are no strangers to the prison life. Opened in 1972, the prison houses some of Ohio’s most dangerous inmates, totaling 2,200 inmates. The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility is known as a level 4, or a maximum-security facility. Here, correction officers control each and every movement of inmates. The Southern Ohio Correctional Facility houses inmates who find themselves in trouble once they are in inside of prison, such as stabbing or killing another inmate. The inmates are then sent to Lucasville to serve “jail time” for whatever act they may have committed while in prison.
According to the documentary, the prison has more attacks on inmates and staff than any other facility in the state of Ohio. Typically new arrivals are classified as 4B. These inmates spend their entire stay in the “hole”. Which means the inmate is confined to his/her cell for 23 hours of the day with strict movement and little privileges. If the inmate breaks the rules, the time starts over. If the inmates are compliant, their status moves to 4A, where the inmates will still spend 23 hours a day in his or her cell, but the inmate will have more privileges such as recreation time that is not as strict. The prison staff needs to be strict and concise to prevent an inmate take over, which has happened in the past at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility resulting in a correction officer dead. Each institution has different security based on what inmates the prison houses, which is why the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility has very strict security. Inmates find simple things to do to past the time like bet on sports teams and play cards. Within the prison system, one will find a different way of life, a different culture known only to those who experience it.
Living in any place, with anyone for an extended amount of time, it is certain that some type of culture will develop, when it happens within a prison this is known as the prison subculture. According to the book Criminal Justice The Essentials, there has been some work done by a man named Gresham Sykes. Sykes identifies various characteristics of a life behind bars that contribute to making a prison culture. The book goes on to say, “These pains of imprisonment include the loss of liberty, deprivation of goods and services, the barring of heterosexual relations, limitations to a prisoner’s autonomy, and concern over personal security” (Lab 136). These factors are something that every inmate must experience once behind bars. The inmate must learn to accept these factors of their new home, if the inmate wants his or...

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