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Life Behind Bars Essay

1309 words - 6 pages

From prisons, jails, and juvenile facilities the United States has the highest incarceration rate of any nation in the world, costing the country billions each year to operate. Creating a booming business for the entertainment industry to convey prison life through films, documentaries, and TV shows, Beyond Scared Straight, Jail, and American’s Hardest Prisons are a few. Allowing citizens to utilize their imagination to envision what it would be like ripped of all dignity and locked up to inhabit a six by eight center-block cell for an extended period of time. However how accurate are films, TV shows, and documentaries of life behind bars? Hollywood’s take on prison life is often inaccurate ...view middle of the document...

However, homosexuality is the most commonly known to free citizens. Learned from misassumptions portrayed by Hollywood or tainted jokes (don’t drop the soap). Existing in all U.S prisons, primarily conducted in the private of two loving consenting inmates cells, though several are openly gay, alternating their appearance to resemble a female similar to Mickey Rourke character in Animal Factory. Though some unwanted sexual advances by an inmate’s result in prison rapes. Typically the younger defenseless white inmates, if the rape is successful the inmate who was raped becomes the rapist “punk,” and conveyed in both the film and book that label will follow an individual for the entirety of their sentence regardless if the inmate is transferred to another institution. Less common, and entirety unlikely some strong willed inmates make genuine attempts of self-restraint for going any sexual activity through abstinence. However, human nature often prevails during their sentence. Heterosexual relations, though prohibited go on more frequently than most would think. Continual contact between kitchen staff, counselors, and health care providers over the course of an inmate’s stay could possibly lead to a one time affair or a long term private relationship. Lastly, masturbation is the predominant and safest approach of sexual pleasure usually conducted if able, during private time before bed. However, masturbation is not openly talked about though it’s considered to be a normal behavior. Most inmates are overly embarrassed about “rubbing on off,” during their incarceration.
Corruption doesn’t only confide amongst politicians, and money launderers. Citizens would rather not believe, but criminals wouldn’t just stop their tendencies once put behind bars. Corruption is prevalent within our prison system. This is demonstrated rather well in both Animal Factory and A Life for a life primarily from the interaction amongst the correctional officers and prisoners. On several occasions (Willem Dafoe) character Earl Copland used his relationship with the guards in order to have contact with other inmates, revise disciplinary reports, or have access to a controlled substance. In the book for instance, an encounter between an inmate and a guard led to a search of the inmate’s cell where contraband was discovered that had been planted to have that inmate placed in the restricted housing block. Correctional officers regularly lie or exaggerate circumstances on a misconduct report for inmates they believe challenged their authority. Certain COs goes as far as to create rumors of inmates acknowledging to others that the particular inmate is a snitch which could generate hostility to that inmate. This could potentially lead to violent outburst of other inmates towards that inmate, resulting in death. Targeting particular offenders such as, rapist and molesters causing their sentence to be extremely difficult as if wasn’t to begin with. The inmates who are favored by the...

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