Real Prison Culture And The Shawshank Redemption Sociology Essay Example
Real Prison Culture And The Shawshank Redemption Sociology Essay Example

Real Prison Culture And The Shawshank Redemption Sociology Essay Example

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A big bulk of the population will non hold any cognition of what prisons are a truly similar, if it was non for the film studios and the telecasting Stationss. The population get the cognition about prisons through films, docudramas, play and action series affecting existent prisons around the universe as made available through these two medias. The National Geographic telecasting channel has a plan titled 'Lockdown ' where crews travel indoors existent prisons and movie the mundane facets of prison life. This plan shows their viewing audiences how hard, nerve-racking and how unsafe prisons are ( National Geographic Television Production, 2010 ) . Compared that with 'Hollywood films ' where a manager tells a narrative to his or her moviegoer client. The manager must guarantee that he or she h


as included some of the existent life facets of the prison environment but he or she can except some of these facets if it does non suit into the plot line. The film Shawshank Redemption is a perfect illustration of this. The manager, Frank Darabont did non to play the race card and allowed Andy Dufresne and Ellis Boyd 'Red ' Redding to go friends. Pending on which existent life prison you look at, this might non happen. For illustration the plan 'Lockdown ' did an episode titled 'Gang War ' . One of their movie crews entered Salinas Valley State Prison in California and showed their viewing audiences that the prison is a pulverization keg ready to break out at any clip because the prison is divided by racial lines ( National Geographic Television Production, 2006 ) . If a captive crosses these racia

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lines, force will happen amongst the captive race and the race group he offends ( National Geographic Television Production, 2010 ) . This paper will research the assorted facets of prison life, utilizing the film Shawshank Redemption to demo the assorted facets of prison life. The undermentioned facets of prison life will be explored: prison as a machine and its usage as a signifier of penalty, prison accommodation on inmates and the prison civilization.

Prison Culture:

A captive in a federal corrections institute in the United States of America by the name of Michael Santos has a web site titled 'Prison News Blog Prison News and Commentary ' . Santos writes on what he has experienced while he has been incarcerated since he was 23 old ages old. Santos writes depicting prisons and the prison subcultures as the followers: `` Prisons are like mini communities, wholly separated from the wider society. Those who live inside discovery civilizations that differ in singular ways from the America that most citizens know and love '' ( Santos, 2008 ) . In this subdivision of the paper the subject of prison subculture will be explored explaining civilization in general, inmate subculture, the want, importing theoretical accounts, strivings of imprisonment, the different functions of inmates and the types of rectification officers. Is at that place a difference between subculture and inmate subculture, the text edition describes the term subculture as `` the typical values, beliefs, norms, symbols, linguistic communication, and political orientations embraced by a peculiar group or community set apart from the larger society '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p. 131 ) . The term inmate subculture is

defined `` as the norms, beliefs, values, linguistic communication, and political orientations by inmates within correctional establishments '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p. 131 ) . An illustration of civilization is the people who believe in the Roman Catholic faith. In comparing inmate subculture are people who are incarcerated at one of the federal, provincial or local correctional establishments and the societal construction these inmates create and how these inmates interact with each other. Inmate subculture can be farther explained by two attacks from Sykes in 1958 and so re-examined by Messinger in 1970. The first attack is the want theoretical account, this theoretical account describes that `` captives experience considerable agony and defeat attender with the want of [ the day-to-day ] basic needs [ a free citizen has ] '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p. 132 ) . The demands are the undermentioned: freedom, clip entirely when you need it, you can buy what you want and obtain the services you want, sexual relationships, independency and the feeling of being safe ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . The above list of points can besides be called the strivings of imprisonment. The strivings of imprisonment can be defined as `` the sorts of wants inmates experience by virtuousness of being in prison '' ( Stojkovic & A ; Lovell, 1998, p. 244 ) . This creates the inmate subculture and the societal interactions between the inmates ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . A individual captive can work as an person, me against the universe attitude or let themselves to incorporate with the

other inmates to relieve the strivings of imprisonment. ( Stojkovic & A ; Lovell, 1998 and Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . A premier of illustration from the film The Shawshank Redemption is the character Andy Dufresne, Andy remains by himself until he starts to talk to Ellis Boyd 'Red ' Redding. Andy so allows himself to incorporate into the inmate subculture and becomes friends with the warden, prison guards and other inmates.

The 2nd attack of the inmate subculture is the importing theoretical account

`` which attributes the development of the prison subculture to the values, functions, beliefs, and dispositions that captives bring with them into the prison. [ In short, ] a prison is a microcosm of the outside society, contemplation of the universe outside the prison walls and non due to the strivings of imprisonment '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p. 132 ) .

The importing theoretical account includes the prisoner-staff dynamic how they interact between each other. The three different types of inmates which are the undermentioned: expecting trail, station strong belief expecting sentence and functioning his or her prison sentence ( Stojkovic & A ; Lovell, 1998 and Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . The assorted racial groups within the prison population such as ( African Americans, Latinos, Asians and Caucasians ) . The type of offense the inmate is in prison for and if the inmate is in prison for reoffending. The inmate subculture will be besides be effected by the followers: the personality differences of each of the inmates before being sentenced to prison. The hierarchy of the inmates in which the powerful 1s

will be on top and the weak 1s will be on the underside. The inmate sexual penchant will besides play a function e.g. sexual impulses. Both theoretical accounts are really similar but the want theoretical account looks at the strivings of imprisonment, while the importing theoretical account looks at prison subculture and prisons are like metropoliss in the free universe. ( Stojkovic & A ; Lovell, 1998 and Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . Many illustrations from the film come to visible radiation ; they include the warden leting the captives to work outside of the prison mending the roof of the prison and other occupations as a work pack. The prison gang 'The Sisters and the leader Bogs Diamond ' seeking to acquire Andy to execute unwritten sex on him. The last illustration from the film is the economic system in prison, Ellis Boyd 'Red ' Redding gets Andy a stone cock and two postings during Andy 's stay in prison. Red has to smuggle these points into the prison through the laundry country and the aid of other inmates. Both the want and importing theoretical accounts are valid theories but what an inmate does before he or she was incarcerated will hold an impact on his or her behavior while they are incarcerated in the prison system ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . So if the inmate is an foreigner before he or she were incarcerated they will be an foreigner during their prison clip. On the other manus, if the inmate does non esteem authorization and runs wild, he or she will be the same manner in

the prison system.

In the prison system, inmates have established certain names for the assorted functions each inmate has. The term coined for this set of footings is prison slang regulations ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . The following are the functions that were seen in The Shawshank Redemption film. The first function seen is 'fish ' . A fish `` implies [ to ] the exposure of the new inmate who must larn to set to the prison environment, in other words to drop or swim '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p.134 ) . The film depicts this function when Andy and the other new inmates are being unloaded from the coach and the older inmates are naming Andy and other new inmates names and doing gestures about a staggering a fish in. The film besides shows the current inmates wagering on which new inmate would be the first to shout the first dark after visible radiations out. Once the visible radiations go out the current inmates start seeking to do a new inmate call. A 'Centre-Men ' are inmates that are unpopular with other inmates and these inmates attempt to ingratiate with the prison warden and guards ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) .The two characters in the film are Andy and Brooks. Andy helps Warden Samuel Norton and the guards with their revenue enhancement signifiers and investings and Brooks maintains the prison library and Jesuss books to the other inmates. Both work forces are popular with the other inmates so they are non true centre-men because the other inmates are friendly to them.

The following term

is the Merchant/Peddler `` is an inmate who sells when he or she is in the place to give and the inmate population regards the merchandiser as person who exploits his comrades '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p.134 ) . An illustration of a merchant/peddler in the film is Red. He can acquire what you want if you are willing to pay his monetary value for it. The last two argot footings depict in the film is the wolf.

`` A wolf is an inmate who take [ s ] on the male function in the sexual brush [ and ] these persons are really aggressive and a hood is inmate who is forced into the female sexual function. [ The 'punk ' inmate ] are forced into entry by wolves '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p.134 ) . The film portrays the character Bogs Diamond the leader of the prison gang 'The Sisters ' . Bogs and The Sisters assault Andy legion times and one scene Bogs tries to acquire Andy to execute unwritten sex on him but does non predominate. The most of import argot term in the prison universe is the 'rat ' . A rat is an inmate who gives information about another inmate to prison functionaries in exchange for their ain personal benefits, discriminatory intervention and the usage of contraband goods ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) . 'Rats ' are the lowest of the low in the prison on the same degree as raper or kid liquidators. In short, if other inmates discover that person is a rat so he or she

will go an foreigner in the prison. All these definitions are some of the slang regulations that are portion of the accommodation an inmate will hold to confront during their prison accommodation stage.

As with inmate slangs functions, rectification functionaries ( prison guards ) have their ain functions in footings of the different types of rectification functionaries. The different types of functionaries are the undermentioned: the regulation hatchet man, difficult line drive, people worker, the man-made officer and the lone wolf guard ( Cesaroni, 2010a ) . The first illustration is the Rule hatchet man who is an officer that tends to be really regulation based, inflexible officer who believes that he or she is in the prison to learn subject. This officer is merely interested in detention and control and does non desire to negociate with the inmates. Last this type of officer does non believe in being friendly to the inmates ( Cesaroni, 2010a ) .

The Hard line drive officer is person who is power hungry, enforces the regulations really purely, likes to penalize and demo their authorization, this type of officer tends to be opprobrious and aggressive to the inmates and have a negative attitude with the inmates. He or she besides identifies strongly with his or her follow officers and this type of officer has a negative attitude with the inmates and resent on holding to supply any services to the inmates ( Cesaroni, 2010a ) . The People worker officer tends to an older and experienced correctional officer. He or she relays on their verbal accomplishments and common sense, interpersonal accomplishments to decide jobs through mediation and non by struggles. He

or she is flexible with regulations has a comfy manner with the inmates ( Cesaroni, 2010a ) . This type of officer enjoys the challenge of covering with the inmates and does non like being autocratic with them ( Cesaroni, 2010a ) . The Man-made officer is a cross between the regulation hatchet man and the people worker in which he or she follows the regulations closely but takes each and every state of affairs into consideration before responding to it. This type of officer is steadfast but just for each state of affairs and they do non allow themselves be taken advantage of by other correctional officers or inmates ( Cesaroni, 2010a ) . Last the Loner officer, he or she purely enforces the regulations because this type of officer is afraid of being criticized. We see this type of officer with females or minorities. This officer does non desire to negociate with inmates and does non desire to do errors while on responsibility. The officer enjoys working in the correctional disposal portion of the prisons and non instead on one-one-one dealingss with the inmates ( Cesaroni, 2010a ) .

Examples from the film are the undermentioned: Warden Norton is depicted as a people worker officer at the start off of the film when he informs the new inmates that he believes in two things, subject and the bible but as the film progresses the film spectator sees Warden Norton true colorss and the type of officer he truly is. Norton shows that he is a hard-line officer by leting inmate Tommy Williams to be murdered and Andy set free because of the new information

that Williams has on who truly murdered Andy 's married woman and her kept woman. Other illustrations of Norton being a hardliner officer is that he uses the inmates as cheap laborers and he takes payoffs from other bureaus who are viing on the same contracts. The last illustration is Captain Byron Hadley, the head officer. Hadley can be seen has a regulation hatchet man officer. In the film Hadley is seen shouting, shouting, to re-establish order in the prison after the older inmate made a new inmate start to shout after visible radiations out on Andy 's first dark at Shawshank. Hadley was the officer that uses his woodened asp wand on this inmate to corroborate his authorization with the older inmates and demo it to the new inmates.

Prison as a Form of Punishment and Prison as a Machine:

As describe in lecture penalty is a necessary immorality and when a penalty is invoked when person is believed to hold done incorrect ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) . In 1954, Andrew Flew outlined the regulations of penalty. The regulations of penalty are the undermentioned: there must be human agony, as a consequence of a condemnable offense ; the wrongdoer who committed the offense is the merely one being punished 4th `` [ B ] e the knowing creative activity of the agony other worlds in response to that offense and in conclusion [ B ] vitamin E inflicted by [ an authorised government organic structure that created the regulations and Torahs for the society as a whole that the wrongdoer has committed the offense in '' ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) .

In 1991, David Garland outlined the

Sociological Positions on Punishment. The first position is the moral procedure. This position stated that penalty of the wrongdoer maps to continue the shared values and norms of the society wants. Punishment symbolizes and enacts moral opinions and penalty sustains solidarity and corporate scruples ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) . An illustration from the film is when Andy is sentenced to two back-to-back life footings. The 2nd position is `` economic and political where a portion of a Wilder scheme of commanding the hapless and lower categories ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) '' . It is a known fact the wrongdoers that come from poorer countries are treated harsher so people from wealthier countries. The prison system uses their inmates as a inexpensive labor force as seen the film when the inmates are tarring the roof and other times seen working outside. The 3rd position is power ; cognition and subject ( Garland, 1991 ) . Power comes from the Judgess and the tribunal to convict wrongdoers ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) . The prison system is setup to educate inmates and to reform these inmates. Prison Officers are the subject in which they use in day-to-day pattern to maintain order in prisons. In the film one scene shows Warden Norton allows an officer to seek Andy 's for illegal points but none are found but is pleased when the warden sees Andy reading the bible. Last `` cultural transmutations are alterations in attitude, behavior, societal organisation and manners of interactions '' ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) . In the past 500 old ages at that place have been alterations in how society handles the undermentioned sensitive issues: sex,

force, bodily maps, unwellness, enduring and decease. Each of these sensitive issues has been moved from a public sphere to a private sphere ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) . The above positions can explicate the complicated points of prison as a signifier of penalty in society ( Cesaroni, 2010b ) .

The prison system has been developed to run like a well oiled machine. The prison machine system will non work right unless the inmates behave as the parts of the machine. Mason writes the following on the prison as a machine as a

`` the system with its impenetrable sets of regulations and ordinances which grind on unrelentingly. The consequence of such mechanistic word picture of penalty is to foreground both the single battle for endurance and built-in procedure of dehumanisation that comes with captivity in the system. The humdrum and ordinance of prison life is most frequently depicted by the extremely structured motion of captives '' ( Mason, 2003, P. 289. )

In the film there are many illustrations of the above occurring. The first illustration is when Captain Hadley cries at an inmate `` you eat when you 're told to eat, you shit when we say you shit, you piss when we say you piss '' are the set of regulations and ordinances which grind on unrelentingly. The single battle for endurance and built-in procedure of dehumanisation illustrations are the stay in the hole for Andy when he fights Bogs Diamond and the day-to-day cheques every forenoon by the officers before inmates go for their breakfast and the prison staff discovers Andy has escaped sometime during the dark. Last the extremely structured motion of captives

is seen when they are being allowed out of their cells, traveling for repasts, eating together and disbursement clip in the pace.

Prison Adjustment:

When a new inmate enters a correctional establishment ( prison ) the inmate will see three phases of prison accommodations. The three phases are: induction, prisonization/ institutionalization and rehabilitation. Based on Wheeler theory that prison life and civilization is in a U-shaped curve ( Cesaroni, 2010c ) . The top of the U is the entry period of the correctional establishment for the inmate. This is a high emphasis period for an inmate regardless if they are a first timer or a repetition wrongdoer. The in-between portion of the U is where the prison inmate subculture is established and the inmate and is the farthest off of what they were like in the free universe Cesaroni, 2010c ) . The last phase of the U is when the inmate is approaching the terminal of his or her sentence and starts to reconnect with their love 1s and the outside universe. This period is another nerve-racking period for the inmate because the inmate does non cognize what to anticipate in the free universe but is thirstily looking frontward to it ( Cesaroni, 2010c ) .

The induction procedure harmonizing to Goffman is `` a extremist displacement in the societal ego. This accommodation to prison involves a psychological procedure '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p.130 ) . Goffman refers this as the chagrins of ego the `` procedure of seting to the establishment requires the loss of a civilian individuality and the incorporation of a new institutional individuality '' ( Ishwaran & A

; Neugebauer, 2001, p.131 ) . This is depicted in the film when Andy and the other new inmates are paraded in forepart of the older inmates and these inmates are naming them 'fish ' . The new inmates are so paraded into a dark room where Warden Norton and Captain Hadley continue this procedure by informing the inmates of the regulation one no blasphemy and we tell you when you can make things. The inmates are told to deprive down, are so hosed down with H2O and so are covered with a white pulverization. The inmates are given their prison apparels and a bible and a forced to walk through the prison naked to their cells. The text states that Clemmer argues that the `` inmates ' loss of liberty encourages the inmate to place with the prison hierarchal system that is really similar to that of the outside universe '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p.131 ) . Most of the new the inmates adjust to the prison subculture in order for these inmates to experience safe in prison environment and leting them to larn and obey the regulations of the prison ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001 ) .

Goffman describes the term entire establishment as `` a topographic point of abode and work where a big figure of like-situated persons, cut off from the wider society for an appreciable period of clip, together lead an enclosed, officially administered unit of ammunition of life '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p. 130 ) . Prisons are commanding constructions and societal organisation in which prisons maps. Clemmer coined the

phrases prisonization or institutionalization. `` This refers to the procedure of socialisation of an inmate into the subculture of the prison. This procedure includes [ the ] larning about the prisons subculture such as values, beliefs and behaviors that challenge the prison staff '' ( Ishwaran & A ; Neugebauer, 2001, p. 131 ) . An illustration of this is when Brooks is being released from Shawshank ; Brooks did non desire to go forth Shawshank and was forced to make so. Brooks discovered he could non last in the outside universe after being in prison for 50 old ages. He killed himself by hanging himself in the halfway house after hungering his name in the balks.

`` Wrongdoers commit offenses chiefly because they are lazy. They need to larn to work difficult and be taught a new attitude toward work. '' ( Cesaroni, 2010d ) . Therefore last stage in the prison accommodation is the rehabilitation stage. In this stage the prison system attempts to re-educate inmates so one twenty-four hours they can return to the general public one twenty-four hours. Throughout history, a strong work moral principle was straight related to a positive societal behavior. Presently, the prison systems are learning the inmates that if you work hard, you will develop work accomplishments that can be used in the free universe ( Cesaroni, 2010d ) . An illustration of this from the film is the character Brooks, he was paroled after 50 old ages in Shawshank prison. The parole board got him employment with a food market shop and life in a half-way house. In the terminal Brooks could hold been rehabilitated more to

manage the emphasis after being in the prison system for five decennaries and the legion societal alterations that occurred since Brooks has been in prison such as how common the car has become, electricity, how people dress.

In decision, the Shawshank Redemption film is the closest gesture image that depicts what prison is truly similar. It is a awful topographic point to populate disconnected from the outside universe. The film besides proves that all that rectification officers are non the same. Some tend to be power hungry while others prefer to be lone wolfs working in the prison office. Inmate subculture is besides dealt with by the film demoing the different the assorted types of functions captives have in prison. The three different phases of prison accommodation an inmate goes through while in the prison system. The phases are the induction stage, the prisonization or institutionalization stage and the rehabilitation stage. Last the film shows the prison system moving as machine and as signifier of penalty. The Shawshank Redemption is film that should be watched by any pupil analyzing criminology.

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