Both during incarceration and upon release, the experience of imprisonment does considerable harm to prisoners in obvious and subtle ways. Continuing beyond the prison term, these ongoing harms create significant obstacles to successful community reintegration, extending the harm of imprisonment and, for most prisoners, diminishing life chances. Some of this harm is directly related to the intended ‘pains’ that are inherent in imprisonment. Much of the harm, however, stems from other features of imprisonment which do not overtly intend harm. We will examine some of the main sources of harm in the contemporary prison, based on our fieldwork in California prisons.