chapter  10
34 Pages

The Effects of Institutional Life

The effects of being incarcerated are difficult for those in free society to fully appreciate. They range from the simple irritation of being required to eat the same monotonous food at precisely the same time day after day to the serious impact of being restricted from normal social relationships. They include the dehumanizing influence of everything from being subjected to strip searches to losing material possessions, personal privacy, and individual autonomy. They transform adult men and women into “little boys and girls who are assumed to need maximum supervision and guidance for even the simplest of activities.”2 They are the product of an environment in which inmates are secluded from the outside, subservient to the staff, subdued by the rules, subjected to the control of other inmates, socialized into the prison subculture, and silenced by the lack of public concern.