We’ve all learned the lesson of avoiding the nasty and following the path of good however some skipped that lesson and learned it in the breathing hell we all associate with Prison. They were supposed to be the temporary holdings before trials yet have continued to serve as a home to many who are awaiting the unknown. There have been stimulating changes in the prison system since the 18th Century. When it loomed, prisoners were forced into hard and manual labor that lasted from dusk to dawn and did not receive proper rehabilitation tactics to keep them from committing another crime.
We don’t see the light in caring for our imprisoned comrades and neither do we bother enough about the overcrowding problem in our prisons. The overcrowding has resulted in predicaments which although don't affect us yet have a profound impression on the prisoners crawling their way to a sounder life. Some of the effects are;
· Poor health care
Prisoners live out a massive chunk of their lives and eventually die in prison. There are enormous restrictions on care delivery in prison and thus they have limited access to urgent facilities, restriction on drugs (due to concerns about addiction) and dilemmas with dispensing drugs (such as breakthrough medication). Poverty, homelessness, cognitive defects, learning disabilities, low health literacy and prior limited access to healthcare are also repercussions of overcrowding to consider. Women often have more sweeping healthcare needs and with 57% of women prisoners in one study, they have a history of sexual or physical abuse or both, resulting in more unusual rates of HIV, Hepatitis C. Prisoners may also be assaulted by other inmates to obtain the drugs they have been prescribed which have led to notable violence. Security is considered a priority and may restrict or delay timely access to external healthcare, as hospital transfers are costly and pose security jeopardies.
Countless prisoners in India are uneducated, poor, and belong to marginalized or socially disadvantaged groups and have limited knowledge about health and lead to unhealthy lifestyles. A study on the prevalence of HIV in Indian prisons revealed that 1.7% of male and 9.5% of female inmates were HIV positive a similar study conducted by the Human Rights Watch in India in 2008 revealed that 9% of prison deaths were attributed by TB, another established disease in the prison.
The question which arises is, What Treatment Services Can Reasonably Be Provided in this kind of Prison Setting. The answer, however, camouflages itself in the Treatment Intensities, Treatment Components and the Therapeutic Techniques one uses on the prisoners.
· Increased gang activity within the prisons
Gangs often monitor the economies inside prisons. Those who join prison gangs are more likely to end up back in prison after they're released.
According to the Hindu, Sim cards are one of the items most frequently smuggled in Indian prisons and one of the hardest to detect. These exchanges of sim cards take place with the support of the many prison gangs operating within the prisons. Many of these gangs operate during the court hearing where it is susceptible to smuggle in gadgets in the midst of a gigantic crowd.
On the other hand, In terms of the economy, gangs help to regulate the translating of things like cell phones, drugs, and alcohol and if kept separate can assist in fostering peace.
· Increase in individual mental health issues
The up-and-coming issue of caring for mentally ill dwellers have taken a toll on those heightening mental fitness outside the reformatory. Sad to say but the list of the mental health conditions suffered by the inmates is seemingly endless. Some prevalent conditions include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder.
The NATIONAL CRIME RECORDS BUREAU had said that about 6000 individuals we’re mentally ill in the prisons in 2016. There was only 1 mental health professional for every 21650 prisoners in 2016 according to the NATIONAL CRIME RECORDS BUREAU. A comprehensive mental health program is thus needed to estimate the true prevalence in prisons which has been under the shadows till now. The proportion of deaths due to suicide in Indian prisons has been reported to be as high as 5–8%. A study in 2008 reported suicide as a cause for 11% of prison deaths.
Many of them lack the basic treatment and resources and though it might not lead to suicide it may pronounce
2. Trauma and Hopelessness
4. Sleep difficulties
5. Restricted range of effect
6. Feelings of detachment
7. Flashbacks and/or nightmares of traumatic incidents
· Violence and the class system.
The prison inmates are as often as not subjected to vilification or oppressive comments because of their ethnic groups. Youthful prisoners have been more victimized than the older ones leaving a more perpetual impression on their minds.
A report by HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH specifically cited countries like India and Pakistan where a ‘rigid’ class system existed in the prisons. The National Crime Records Bureau further revealed that an Indian prisoner is disproportionately from the oppressed class group. Special privileges are granted to those prisoners who come from the upper and middle classes irrespective of their crimes.
We just can't get enough of that differentiation element in the prisons.
As for violence bit, The prevalence of drug abuse varies between 8% to 63% among Indian prisoners. Prison violence is inflicted on either another inmate, a prison guard, or is self-inflicted. In 1999, it was publicized that one in five inmates, or twenty percent of inmates, at fourteen state prisons had been physically assaulted by another inmate. The rising pandemonium isn’t just outside the prison but dwelling subtly inside those menacing prison walls.
· Inmate Identity and Culture
Some offenders feel relatively little anxiety regarding their incarceration whereas some enter with the lack of identity and accompanying hopelessness, yet many believe that being in prison and participating in prison culture is the norm. The colorful viewpoints about belonging to different hues are stroked in black and white in the prisons. While some deem themselves to be the victims of this society, and still, others take pride in pertaining and correlating to an alternative culture (e.g., the drug culture, a gang) and being outside the majority culture. the inmates who enroll in treatment are often characterized as too weak to “handle their drugs” in the community. The new inmates have to quickly learn to adhere to sets of formal and informal policies dictating every act of theirs from those concerning eating and sleeping to dressing and speaking and work schedules. Somewhere in the process, they lose their identity and the National Crime Records Bureau ineptitude to include the demographic details of the prisoners further sport the red light to retaining your culture inside the prison since it is crucial to flag out the problematic overrepresentation of certain groups among the under-trials in prisons preventing their name to be degraded in society.
With this type of categorization, how can one get customary treatment without receiving appropriate judgment?
Some obvious solutions to these problems can be building more prisons, expanding the chances of parole, releasing those who have committed crimes that are now legal and promoting rehabilitation. They are the solutions that initially strike our mind, however, the transition of the causes into solutions though subtle can be a solution. Advocacy by healthcare professionals may be difficult, and conflict with prison regulations but if the Prison medical staff works in collaboration with social workers, clinical psychologists, etc. to solve this vexing problem of overcrowding and distressed healthcare, our trustees can get treated like a human first and then a criminal…