Sociology of the Criminal Justice System
Life in Prison
There are many increased precautions in ultra-prisons where the prisoners are locked into small cells for approximately 23 hours a day. They have almost no contact with other human beings and no group activities. The cells have no windows and lights are controlled by guards who leave them on night and day. For exercise there is usually only a room with high concrete walls and a chin-up bar. Showers may be limited to three times a week for not more than ten minutes. Prisoners are confined to a concrete world in which they never see a blade of grass, trees or any part of natural world. Each cell has a lidless, stainless-steel toilet, a bed, a stool bolted to the floor, built-in shelves, and a TV with no controls. Prisoners are under surveillance, usually with closed circuit television cameras. These provisions are adequate for suicide prevention, a threatened to prey, incite, assault, or escape. Prisons may be used for housing protective custody if the troublemakers are completely removed. Inmates who might be at risk from other inmates as well as for other “special” populations such as death row, HIV-positive, or mentally ill.
Most experts believe people come in maximum security prisons with a few problems and leave sociopaths. Isolation causes people to become bitter, angry, and disassociated from reality. If one viewed a caged animal, they will see what happens. Prisoners say that the