Prison

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A prison is a facility in which inmates are forcibly confined and denied a variety of freedoms under the authority of the state, as a form of punishment and to protect the community. The term "correctional institution" is still sometimes used (in the U.S. federal system, for low and medium security prisons) despite the U.S. Supreme Court's having ruled in U.S. v. Tapia that prisoners cannot be incarcerated for the purpose of rehabilitation.

In the United States, a prison houses convicted felons with sentences of one year or more. Prisons are run by states or the federal government. In contrast, a jail (gaol in England) is filled primarily with people awaiting trial, because bail was denied or they cannot afford bail. Also jails house those convicted of misdemeanors with sentences of less than one year. A jail is run by a county or a large city.

The United States incarcerates far more people than any other country. The U.S. is first both in raw numbers of prisoners and in proportion of the population incarcerated. The United States incarcerates more people than the rest of the world put together.[1]

While sentencing for drug crimes has declined somewhat{ref?}, incarceration of sex offenders is rising{ref?}, in part because the sentences for sex crimes continually get longer{get longer???}.

For a boylover, spending time in prison is a rite of passage.{ref?} Many boylovers come in contact with the criminal justice system, even if they do not go to prison, in part between the line between what is legal and what is not is so unclear.

Sex offenders

In the U.S. federal system, a sex offender management program has been set up in at least one prison in each region of the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Similar programs exist in many state prisons. Psychologists at these facilities are trained to assist in monitoring the prisoners for deviant or "risky" sexual thoughts and behavior and to help in formulating restrictions to impose on them through, for instance, correctional management plans. Censorship of sex-related material (including written material) in incoming mail is also more likely to be practiced at these facilities. Sex offender treatment is usually available in these prisons. Nominally optional, turning it down can lead to parole postponement or denial.

Sex offenders at these facilities may find friends and even sex partners (other sex offenders), and feel safer than they would at other facilities with a lower concentration of sex offenders. The fact that there are more sex offenders means that (1) there are fewer non-sex offenders to push them around, (2) animosity toward sex offenders is spread out among a larger group rather than being focused on a small group of individuals, (3) there are veterans of the system to advise the inexperienced inmate about how to deal with prison individuals, policies, and programs, and (4) there will be other sex offenders to associate with in situations in which association with other prisoners is mandatory (for example, at lunch tables{not breakfast or dinner?} or in cells). Sex offenders who fight the system, for example by having articles published on the Internet criticizing the system, or filing administrative remedies challenging censorship of sex-related materials or other prison rules, are likely to be targeted by prison officials for stricter monitoring{ref?}. The prison officials' unstated goal is finding an excuse to have them shipped to another facility (most likely a higher security facility), where they might not be as safe. In fact moving inmates from one prison to another often happens routinely, without any inmate fault bringing it about, as a security measure intended to disrupt inmate friendships with staff and sometimes with other inmates.

Chris Zoukis notes, "There is even a stratification system within the sex offender group. At some federal prisons, the pornography possessors view themselves as being superior to the producers. The younger sex offenders also tend to view themselves as less culpable -- or at least as less deserving of ridicule -- than the older sex offenders because of the closer age difference between themselves and the victim or the person in the photos{ref?}. The stratification among sex offenders may, at times, be a bar to social standing{social standing?}, but for the most part there is little danger to a member of the sex offender group from those within the group. The real danger comes from other inmates."[2]

Guards are a danger as well, perhaps a bigger danger, as they are not supervised as inmates are, have access to weapons and to the inmates' prison records, can be less intelligent or worldly than some of the inmates, and can "look the other way", or conveniently be out of the room, when inmate on inmate violence is expected. Guards have high credibility in the investigation of any incident, while inmates have very little. On the other hand, guards, who are not routinely searched, are the route for much contraband to come in, typically drugs.

Drugs are available to a greater or lesser degree in most prisons{ref?}, though more expensive than on the street. (Drugs are often paid for by having a relative of the inmate purchaser pay a relative of the inmate seller, on the outside.) It is not uncommon for the use of drugs by inmates (who have long stretches with nothing to do) to be more extensive than before coming to prison. For example, inmates can, in some cases, develop a heroin "habit".

See also

References


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