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Violence in Prisons

Our society has got a number of problems, of which we, the members of this society, prefer being or pretending unaware. It is so much easier to stay aside, as long as this problem does not refer to us personally, and it is so human to believe, that all the problems, that other people deal with and which do not, at the same time, bother us are either no problems indeed, or those, who deal with those problems are in charge of such themselves. In any case we prefer to know nothing about a number of problems, which, due to our silence and indifference become more and more severe. When facing them in all their ugliness, we get truly surprised: how come we did not know about the problem, which exists and exists in such severe form. The answer is so simple: we just did not want to know and ignored all the evidence, only in order to stay within the comfortable frame of our warm and convenient ignorance.

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One of such problems, not knowing of which has become a norm of our lives, is violence in prisons. Shocking numbers are provided by Crook (ND). In accordance with his data one of the prisons in the UK, a prison in Doncaster, has got room for 743 prisoners. And in this prison alone during the year 2012 392 cases of assault happened. The figure is truly impressive. But we would all prefer not to know, what exactly happened there and what were the reasons.

In such a small essay, however, it is hard to make a serious research of the reasons, which cause violence in prisons in every particular case; it is hard to make any scientific conclusions too. However we can generalize and reflect on the most global reasons, or, so to say, catalysts, which make violence a norm of life in prisons of even developed countries - we should not forget, the example provided in the beginning of the paper is an example, related to one of the most prosperous countries in Europe and in the whole world. There are countries, where nobody would even be surprised at such figures or believe them to be impressive.

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However, in order to cope with the problem we first of all need to face it and, secondly, understand, what are the reasons, causing the state of things being the way they are. Social science mainly recognizes two approaches in addressing this problem. These approaches are closely related to deprivation model and importation model. The former explains prison violence as being a result of an attempt of the imprisoned to build a mini-world, which would protect them from possible problems, and they prefer the method of self-defense, based on asault. A sort of a preventive measure. (This measure also helps them cope with the psychological trauma, having to do with the loss of freedom (Wortley, ND). Other very well established theory is the importative theory. According to this theory, the prisoners simply bring their own behavioral patterns into the prison, and therefore they start practicing violence, which they used to practice while being free (Harer & Steffensmeier, ND).

But if we look deeper into the subject, we will see ourselves, being in charge of the situation. The problem does exist, but the society does not care to recognize it. How could we care less about some prisoners, they are criminals, they deserve it. But we should never forget that it happens quite often, that people get imprisoned by a mistake, there are political prisoners, there are those, who committed minor crimes, there are the workers of the prisons, who become victims of violence in prisons.

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However, our political establishment is not willing to take responsibility for the problem. It is much easier to neglect the problem with active support of the citizens, than starting to look for uneasy and, sometimes, unpopular solutions.

It is important, that anyone of us, or any member of our families may once run into this problem and see it very closely. And therefore it is our responsibility to take care of it, while we do not have to deal with the consequences. We should not neglect it only because today it is not our problem, but a problem of somebody else.

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