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The Impacts of Long Term Captivity

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Introduction

This paper discusses the effects of long-term captivity on captives who spend most of their life time in life imprisonment. The prison set the captive aside from their families, relatives and friends. This could have numerous effects on the captive’s mental, physical and psychological health. The environments are so confined that sets the captive aside from the normal world. This paper will critically analyze the mental, physical and psychological health of the captives.

Impacts of long-term captivity

Numerous theories have been aimed at explicitly explaining the relationships between the length, extreme and physical, mental and psychological health. Long-term captivity has been linked to mental deterioration among the captives. Though numerous researches have been carried out on this area, there is little understanding on the need prolonged imprisonment in the effort to correct or reestablish good behaviors on inmates. It is necessary that the issue of long-term captivity be taken with caution, so as to raise the chances of rehabilitation of the captives. This paper will address four major impacts of long-term captivity; deprivation, deterioration, coping and behavior change.

Deprivation of rights

Imprisonment involves the elimination of most of the captive’s freedoms as well as many basic rights. Timothy Flanagan carried a study in the effort to examine the attitudes and perceptions of long-term inmates. In his study separation of the inmates from their families and friends was considered to be the greatest concern of the inmates, compared to the agony of their families resulting from their absence.

Long-term captivity also deprives the inmates off their liberty.  The liberty of movements and association may have adverse effects n the inmate’s mental and psychological health. The severity of the loss of freedom may result to dehumanization which may deter the effort of rehabilitating the inmates.

The inmate’s behaviors are greatly controlled through rules and commands; this may deprive the inmate’s right to free choice, freedom of expression and the right to associate in social groupings. According to Sykes (1966) this form of deprivation is a major characteristic of imprisonment. The captive’s independence and self efficacy are often taken away from them. According to Santos (1995) the inmates are dictated on what to live, eat and where to live. Their clothing and performance of several duties is dictated to them by use of rigid rules and regulations. Inmates are likely to lose their self motivation and the will to achieve.

Captives who have no history of violence may be incarcerated together with captives with long history of violence and aggressive behavior.   This subjects the new captives to new experiences such as homosexuality and lesbianism.  There are a lot of efforts in place to ensure common aid and support to the inmates; which may boost their welfare. However the average inmates do not usually benefit from these efforts (Sykes, 1966).

Deprivation of the inmate’s rights to heterosexual relationships leads to reduced sexual drives, increased sexual desire toward their fellow inmates and stress. These leads to psychological problems, directs the inmates to acts such as homosexuality as well as use of drugs.  According to Skykes (1966) the lives of these inmates is left to apathy, no morale to survive and thus they many turn to be worse, in other words long-term captivity if not controlled to preserve the basic needs of the inmates, may be a process of producing more experienced criminals rather than rehabilitees.

Deterioration as an impact of long-term captivity

Long-term Captivity causes adverse effects of the inmate’s mental, emotional and physical health. Captivity can be devastating for some offenders, these may include the loss of memory, it also burr comprehension and the ability to think. Other inmate may develop emotional problems such as hot temper, obsession and loss of interest in the society, thus at the extreme it may lead to murder. An important purpose for imprisonment is to engage a number of actions intended to reduce the physical capacity of an individual to commit an offense or a deviant act. This philosophy focuses on the eliminations an individual’s ability to or opportunity for crime through the restraints of their actions. The conditions of imprisonment may be so terrible that they reduce or eliminate the offender’s later desire to take on between misconduct acts.

The purpose of imprisonment may also be useful for taming the inmates against misbehavior thus bettering one’s actions. Other benefits of imprisonment include administrative decrees include preventive orders in domestic violence cases, license revocations, and the passage of qualification requirements to perform particular duties.  A lot of these actions include economic sanctions and financial consequences for those implicated.

Coping prison environment

Long-term captivity effects may from one individual to another.  This is supported by the argument that different people cope with different situation differently. The coping theory examines the differences among inmates and how different they cope to the prison environment. Zamble and Porporine sought to determine a set of psychological effects suffered by the inmates, through which they could predict the inmate’s long-term behavior (Zamble, E.  & Porporino, F. J. 1988)

It is common for inmates form different social and economic backgrounds to live harmoniously in prisons. These inmates put aside their personal differences so as to cope with the situation facing them. However the effects may from one individual to another depending on personal altitudes and perception.  People cope with different lifetime goals learn how to cope with life, some shape their goals while others come up with totally new ones despite the limitation in the environment to achieve them (Zamble, E.  & Porporino, F. J. 1988)

Restoration of some inmates to their better lives may be possible through imprisonment; it derives from the principles of re-establishment of good behavior. As an option to other punishment philosophies restorative justice essentially challenges the society’s way of thinking about crime and justice. Restorative justice factually involves the development of offenders to their previous condition. The principles of restorative justice have been practicing for criminal and civil sanctions. The crucial objective of rehabilitation is to re-establish a convicted offender to a beneficial place in society through treatment, education, and training. It derives from the principles of re-establishment of good behavior. As an option to other punishment philosophies restorative justice essentially challenges the society’s way of thinking about crime and justice. Restorative justice factually involves the development of offenders to their previous condition. The principles of restorative justice have been practicing for criminal and civil sanctions.

Long-term captivity and behavior change.

Long-term captivity is also associated with positive and negative behavior change: this depends on the organizations. Generally imprisonment leads to negative and lasting emotional problems. While this may be the case at the beginning of the sentence, inmates who learn to cope with their new environment and take it to be beneficial for their behavior change may end up being rehabilitant. Many inmates who demonstrate a positive attitude have been observed to benefit from imprisonment.    

Inmates change behavior as a result of deprivation of their rights. Some turn to unusual sexual relationships with their fellow inmates and stress. Some of the inmates lose their hope for survival, they make bad decisions thus becomes worse of criminals than rehabilitees.

Conclusion

From the discussion it can be seen that, Imprisonment involves the elimination of most of the captive’s freedoms as well as many basic rights. The liberty of movements and association may have adverse effects n the inmate’s mental and psychological health. The severity of the loss of freedom may result to dehumanization which may deter the effort of rehabilitating the inmates.

The paper concludes that the inmate’s behaviors are greatly controlled through rules and commands; this may deprive the inmate’s right to free choice, freedom of expression and the right to associate in social groupings. Captives who have no history of violence may be incarcerated together with captives with long history of violence and aggressive behavior.   This subjects the new captives to new experiences such as homosexuality and lesbianism.  There are a lot of efforts in place to ensure common aid and support to the inmates; which may boost their welfare. 

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