Do prisons truly reform prisoners? What do you think?

in #lifelast year


I got the idea of this post from what one of my latest recruits @chegbe wrote here about the Nigerian Prison Service changing its name to Nigeria Correctional Service. It got me thinking about prisons, whether they actually reform prisoners after they have served their sentence.

My thoughts

There are prisons in every country, city or state. Their purpose or aim is one - to change people that lived a life of crime and make them better persons. So in theory, people go to prisons as bad persons, but should come out as better persons. At least, that is what they want us to believe. But deep within me, I always think and have seen that more than 50% of inmates come off worst. Many people that went to prison come out more hardened and are poised to continue their life of crime and even operate at a higher level. Some of them believe that they have seen it all. They have seen suffering, punishments and other tough things inside the prison, probably, they have spent years too. So what else can the government do to them worse than they have seen? So this idea makes them continue their criminal behavior once they are released. I think that this situation is not something happening in just one part of the world, its everywhere. So I think that prisons do not actually reform prisoners. In fact, our prisons need to be reformed. They need to change how they are run if they are to get positive results from they reformation they do on prisoners. I have seen that kindness, love and treating people with dignity and respect brings out the best in them. Maybe, prisons should think in this direction.


Now, that is my thought on this crucial subject. Let me see what you think. Do prisons truly reform prisoners? If no, what can be done to bring out the best in a prisoner and change them into a responsible and positive influence in the society once released? Say your mind.



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Thank you @focusnow, the thought of human reform via prisons service. In my pondering over this issue, I have concluded that no method will provide 100% solution as regards reform targets, because we have seen people from the aristocratic families involved in crimes we can't really place why they do so. The loved ones involve in crimes also. The poor ones also do crimes, having stated this first, one method can't apply to all. Consider a young lady who likes have sex, but hates having children, she gives birth and through them away, how do you reform this category of criminals? More than a 100 thing brings people to prisons, so more than a 100 methods will have to be applied (that sounds hilarious though).

Having said all these, I will like to make the following submissions concerning prisons reform....;
Firstly, the reform must come first in the prison system itself, this involves #1 Reforming the prison orders, the reform modules, #2 training and reforming the prison workers also.

Secondly, Love concept must be adapted. The greatest weapon and pathway to transformation.

Thirdly, intelligence must be given regards and Intelligents employed... Like in my country, the workers have no intentions for reform of inmates, just a poverty alleviation scheme, such can't help.

Lastly, you can't keep someone who robs to feed for 10years and release him poor and poorer, expecting him to go and feed how, he will be more furious.
I want to conclude by saying that it's more of having a cobra effect on the society.

True @chegbe. There seems to be no universal formula for prisoner reform. But like you rightly pointed out, the concept of love, plus other things could help to reach the heart of prisoners. Ofcourse, I still think that each prisoner is unique. So the techniques should be adapted to match their personalities.

You think you can help a psychopath and serial killer by treating them with love and respect?

I write with prisoners for 10 years now. Not one I wrote with over 20. All kind of. It depends on the prisoner if they can be corrected, if they are willing to join courses given and join the plans they have to follow to go back into society.

There are who succeed. There are who are not and spend more years of their life in prison as in the outside world. Prison became their home.

There are also who will always fight, fight the system, think they are right and do inside exactly the same as outside.

If you offer prisoners courses you correct, the fact they are not willing to use them, are stubborn and like to show who is the strongest rooster in the ten has nothing to do with it.

If you sit in your cell. No tv, visitors, courses to educate, therapy it is prison. Some deserve that not the freedoms given. They do not appreciate it but abuse it and it is a place where you stay because you did something wrong. Not to have the best time of your life and get rich.

One night in a Dutch prison costs more as in a 5 start hotel. That is ridiculous. First society is victim of a criminall next she can pay for it's staying in prison.

As a criminal/ex criminal/being convicted it is hard to go back into the outside world if you have no one and no one helps you. Once free you need a place to live, a job and that might be a huge problem. If you are labelled society will not trust you and say: okay you did something wrong, you are punished for it and we are even. You can never start from 0 again. For some reason that does not feel right either.

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Nice thoughts there @wakeupkitty. I really agree that showing love alone does not reform criminals. Though looking at the ways to get the best out of people, it seems that you cannot completely do without showing some kindness. This and a combination of other techniques seems to work better than outright brutality and harsh treatments.

I hope it does. In real life it seldom works that way. A lack of trust, faith, honesty also plays a huge role. I saw that with fosterchildren as well.

Character and self esteem are important too and furure perspective. Some you cannot help. You see that with all those visiting shrinks etc for over 10 years.

The soul, human being is complexed. Inmates are no exception. Being a guard is not the greatest job there is.


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really in its complete I don't think they are reformed from those places come out worse than they were before

From the inmates I write with I hear different stories. There is a huge difference how the prisons work but there is also if it comes to the (character of) inmates.

I think given guidance and help everyone can reform after all people make good and bad choices all the time.

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I think given guidance and help everyone can reform after all people make good and bad choices all the time.i have upvoted for you mate for visibility

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I don't think Africa prisons reform. If you are reformed, then probably it's just by the grace of God. Maybe in the western world, the therapy and all the education being given in prison help reform them, but u don't believe everyone can be reformed.

@focusnow, In my opinion prison makes prisoners more worst because words like Correction Service lacks. Stay blessed.

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