Prisoners Rights: Some Landmark Judgements
The past decade has witnessed an increasing consciousness about the desirability of prison reforms, It is now being recognized that a reformative philosophy and a rehabilitative strategy must form a part of prison justice. The ro!e of the Supreme Court in the past five years in introducing jail reforms has been commendable. Its quest for prison justice is probably a result of its attempt to revive liberty after extinguishing it in the Habeas Corpus case. In fact, the Supreme Court had commented in that case during the emergency that the treatment meted out to the detainees was almost mater-nal. The Supreme Court carried the ratio of the habeas Corpus case (ADM Jabalpur Vs. Shiv Kant Shukla) that Article 21 is the sole repository of life and liberty and during the emergency when liberty is suspended, due to the Presidential proclamation suspending Article 21, to the Prison conditions, and held in Bhanudas's case that a detainee during emergency could not agitate for better Jail Conditions and facilities. Maneka Gandhi's case was a landmark in Indian jurisprudence. The Maneka principle was extended to prison conditions and particularly to the plight of under-trials. A series of news items appeared in "The Indian Express" about the continued incarceration of under-trials in Bihar Jails. Some of them were never produced before the courts. Some others had spent more time in jails as under-trials than the maximum penalty that could be imposed upon them if they were convicted of the offences they were charged with. The Supreme Court in the Writs of Habeas Corpus for under-trials stated that "The information contained in these newspaper cuttings is most distressing and it is sufficient to stir the conscience and disturb the equanimity of any socially motivated lawyer or judge. Some of the undertrial prisoners whose names are given in the newspaper cuttings have been in jail for as many as 5, 7, or 9 years and a few of them for even more than 10 years without their trial being begun. What faith can these lost souls have in a judicial system which denies them a bare trial for so many years, and keeps them behind bars, not because they are guilty, but because they are too poor to afford bail and the courts have no time to try them. There can be little doubt after the dynamic interpretations placed by this court on Article 21 in Maneka Gandhi vs. Union of India that a procedure which keeps such large number, of people behind bars without trial so long cannot possibly be regarded as reasonable, just or fair so as to be in conflict with the requirement of the Article." It was with these observations that the Supreme Court directed the Bihar Government and the Patna High Court to furnish to the Supreme Court details of criminal cases pending in Bihar and their year wise breakup. The Supreme Court thereafter directed the release of such under-trials who were in detention for a unduly long period. The Supreme Court again in a separate writ petition filed by Sunil Batra and Charles Sobharaj, two priso-ners in Delhi's Tihar jail, made an effort to humanize jail conditions. The question before the Court was: "Does a prison setting, ipso facto, outlaw the rule of law, lock out the judicial process from the jail gates and declare a long holiday for human rights of con-victs in confinement ? And if there is no total eclipse what luscent segment is open for judicial justice? Sunil Batra, sentenced to death had challenged his incarcera-tion in solitary confinement and Charles Sobhraj had challenged his confinement with bar-fetters. The Supreme Court held that there is no total deprivation of a prisoner's rights of life and liberty. The "safe keeping" in jail custody is the limited juris-diction of the jailer. "To desort safe-keeping into a hidden opportunity to care the ward and to traumatize him is to betray the custodian of law, safe custody does not mean deprivations, violation, banishment from the...
...roughly 650,000 released (Prisoner Reentry). These individuals are faced with many challenges when reintegrating themselves back into society. This is a very difficult time for them and often times things do not go as everyone planed. This time period is filled with disappointments, whether it be to the parole officers, their families or themselves. Leaving prison to reenter the world can cause a lot of confusion and emotions for the ex-offender. Being free leaves the responsibility up to them to make sure that they succeed in life and do not make the same mistakes twice.
The first thing they need to do is develop a plan. Ex-prisoners come home and have lots of goals and hopes that they believe they can fulfill. They may want to start the business that they always dreamed of. They may remember the times when they wanted to graduate from school. Maybe they want to reconnect with their family and friends. Often times the prison setting generates a sense of urgency in those people. Short term goals are often better to begin with as long term goals may be more difficult to accomplish and may end in frustration. If they feel the need to get help achieving these goals there are many programs out there to assist them. There is mentoring programs, colleges, business development programs and other non-profit organizations (Community Based Corrections).
Going down the wrong path and ending back up where they started is controlled by the...
The topic of my thesis, I chose the issue of non-cooperative economic games, specifically the so-called "Prisoner's Dilemma". Game theory falls in microeconomics and therefore mainly in the economic analysis. It gives us an analysis of the way in which two or more entities interact, choose strategies that simultaneously influence each actor.
The greatest credit for the development of economic games have mathematician John von Neumann. Game theory can be used both to analyze the market, for example, to study the tariff policies of individual countries. In general, the "Prisoner's Dilemma" and other economic game also described as V of experimental economics.
Prisoner's Dilemma is one of the most famous economic game that is presented in a variety of designs. It describes the behavior of the two entities, in our case, two people convicted of a felony they committed. The judge or prosecutor has enough evidence but only to the conviction of lighter crime, which is punishable by one year in prison. Offers therefore separately to each of the prisoners deal that if he confesses, gets only three months in prison for extenuating circumstances, while the other one you will serve a full 10 years. If both confess, both get 5 years. Neither of the prisoners but not communicating with the other, we do not know how it will proceed accomplice.
| Prisoner Y |...
...Reintegration of Prisoners – Is it possible?
The reintegration of prisoners back into “normal” everyday living is a difficult and seemingly impossible task. The challenges offenders on probation or parole face are great in number and size. Each criminal faces different hurdles based on their demographic, gender, length of stay, individual background, racial background, offense history, and the strength of their support system upon release. I believe that reentry is a realistic expectation; however, we must consider each case and focus on the support provided the offender as they enter back into a society that has shunned them.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics over 4.9 million adult men and women were under Federal, State, or local probation or parole in 2005. Approximately 4,162,500 of those were on probation and 784,400 on parole, an annual 0.6 percent increase for 2005 [Bureau of Statistics, 2005]. These numbers are staggering. The goal of reintegration is for prisoners to safely return to the community as law-abiding citizens.[Rosenthal and Wolf, 1] With so many prisoners attempting to reenter society it is certain that not all of them will, but can any of them at all? I believe that reintegration is possible and that the rate of successful reentry will improve with more attention paid to the support system provided those attempting life on the outside. Also, probation and parole officers must...
...Lord Byron's poetic work "The Prisoner of Chillon" tells the struggle between a person's ending their suffering and accepting it rather than holding on to the hope of freedom. The author uses symbols to represent the immediate end of suffering, acceptance of defeat, and succumbing to torture in competition with hope, strength, and faith in eventual freedom.
The symbolism of the chains represents the prisoners' bondage. When the eldest of the prisoner's younger brothers died, the chains were removed and his body was given partial freedom. However, he was buried in the cell in a section where the sun would not shine. In this way "even in deaht his freeborn breast / In such a dungeon could not rest." The chains were put over his grave as an ironic monument to his death. In this way, his brother may not be bound by physical chains, but his final resting place would always be in a prison. After the youngest brother's death, the narrator was finally unchained and could roam about the cell as he pleased. Ironically, he was allowed this little bit of freedom after the his only reasons for living had passed. This "compassionate" act of his captors was not really a favor. He had lost everything that was important to him, and the outside world did not concern him since there was no one out there who cared. However, he was still curious, and looked out of the window.
This window was his only portal to the outside world and represented his...
...The state of Michigan spends more money on jails and prisons than it does on education, but is this money well spent? The Michigan Prisoner ReEntry Initiative would suggest that it is. The MPRI is a collaborative effort that draws from the commitment of community groups, the Michigan Department of Corrections, and other state agencies. Launched in 2003 and expanded statewide in 2008, the initiative’s mission is to equip every released offender with tools to succeed in the community. The MPRI is a nationally recognized commitment to public safety that gives prisoners the tools they need to succeed in a process that begins when they enter prison and continues through parole and reintegration into the community. The MPRI has effectively reduced Michigan’s prison population, recidivism rate, and crime rate. (Figure 1) It has broken the cycle of soaring Corrections costs by investing in safe alternatives to costly and unnecessarily long stays in prisons. By breaking the cycle of crime and incarceration, the MPRI has managed to cut spending on prisons down by 293 million dollars annually, and although that may be the biggest benefit it is one of many. (1)
The number one goal of the MPRI is to reduce crime. It does that by better preparing parolees before they return to the community, making smarter decisions about who is released and when, and providing enhanced supervision and services in the community. It ensures what Lansing Prison Warden...
...Prisoners with Special Needs
In today’s society, jails are starting to incarcerate more and more special needs prisoners. For
example, the mentally ill, and substance abusing prisoners. This number is growing faster and faster
and will leave behind the prison system if something is not done to make sure that these prisoners are
treated the right way. Several people argue the fact that they are there because they committed a crime.
They also argue the point of why should they get special treatment and the other prisoners not receive
the same treatment when they all committed the same crime. A lot of people fail to realize that
these people function in a different way depending on their special needs. If they were all treated the
same way, the prisons and jails would be much worse off than they are now.
When a prisoner has a special needs problem, for example, a mental illness, or substance abuse,
they require special attention. This affects the state and federal systems in many ways. For example,
the State and Federal levels are having a difficult time funding and determining the needs of the
prisoners who require this extra attention. When incarcerating a special needs prisoner in a regular
facility, they will require extensively more attention than the typical inmate. This will end up...
...”The Prisoner Who Wore Glasses” by Bessie Head is a short narrative with a powerful message. At first I was uninterested in and untouched by the story, but after understanding the moral context, I became engaged with the piece and it’s characters.
The main purpose of the piece is to present a conflict where mental strength is tested against physical, showing that mental strength is superior and also to show that the world is a better place when we work together. Brille, the protagonist, not only shows courage and leadership, but also wisdom that makes him inevitably unique from the static characters in the story. The other prisoners in Camp One look to Brille for guidance and follow in his footsteps, even though his physical appearance is frail; he is even referred to as a “thin little fellow” with a “hollowed out chest” and “comic knobbly knees”. What Brille lacks in stature, he makes up for with his strong will; when Hannetjie, the new warder in Span One asks the prisoners who dropped a cabbage while working, I did not expect Brille to be the prisoner to claim the misdeed. After Hannetjie punishes the whole Span, Brille states “But I told you I did it”, making it evident that he wanted to have independent punishment, instead of letting his mates suffer with him. After Warder Hannetjie confronts Brille, telling him that he doesn’t take orders from a “kaffir” and tells Brille to call him “Baas”; Brille tells...
...Summary of "A Study of Prisoners and Guards in a Simulated Prison"
by Dr. Philip Zimbardo
Have you ever wondered why some institutions succeed while others fail? Dr. Philip Zimbardo, a Professor of Psychology, insists that America's prison system is a failure because of the assumed responsibilities that come with certain positions and not because of the previously assumed dispositional hypothesis which claims the very nature of the prisoners and/or guards constitutes failure in our correctional facilities. And in order to prove his claim, Zimbardo designed a unique experiment.
Methods and Materials
To test whether or not the dispositional hypothesis truly held any significance, Zimbardo set out to conduct an experiment where he would take in twenty-one, randomly-selected subjects to live a standard prison life for two weeks (315-316). And if his prediction was right, the results of this experiment would convey role-play as a leading contributor to our failing prison system (313).
The first step of the experiment called for volunteers. Zimbardo started out by publishing an ad in a newspaper requesting the participation of locals in a study regarding life in prison with a $15 per day incentive (315). There were seventy-five respondents in all but only twenty-two were selected to take part because of a far-reaching questionnaire and interview process each respondent completed (315). The reason behind the...