Rethinking Justice: The Flaws of Traditional Prisons and the Quest for Anti-Prisons | MyPaperHub

Beyond Bars: Unveiling the Ineffectiveness of Prisons and Advocating for Anti-Prisons as a Path to Rehabilitation


The establishment of prison systems dates as back as the establishment of civilization. They have risen to become a great institution in the society. It is as if the society of today cannot survive without them. The main idea associated with the establishment of the prison system is the prevention of violence and the correction of violent people. The evolution of social economic and cultural aspects of humanity led to the development of conflicts within social systems. Social and economic inequalities also exist and widen the conflict. As the need for better organization, there was a great need for the establishment of institution mandated with creating social order. High levels of violence and conflict have been universal and the association of prisons and civilization accepted by society across the world. Prisons have thus become great institutions in the society because of the notion that they reduce violence by separating the violent form the society. The article, however, focuses on the aspect of whether or not prisons are effective in the reduction of violence in the society. It explores how prisons can provoke violence. The article suggests the use of a different system of preventing violence because the current use of prisons has not been effective in reducing. The author suggests the use of anti-prisons.

Native cultures have demonstrated for many years’ effective ways of dealing with violent offenses. There exist methods other than the use of prisons. Some of these methods include organizing meetings between offenders and the victim, use of forgiveness and apologies, and compensation. These are methods focused on reconciliation and offer more effective ways of dealing with conflict. The societies of today found these native cultures and organizations as primitive.

However, some of these measures are adopted in the world of today but the norm of the society of today is the extensive use of policing and prisons for the enforcement of laws and maintaining control.  The system of prisons is very paramount for the society of today that it is believed the society of today cannot exist without it (Gilligan, & Lee, 2004).

The prison system is based on a notion associated with revenge and the infliction of pain. The word punishment itself is associated with pain infliction. Prison system has therefore been established based on the system of infliction of pain for the sake of revenge. The problem of using such a notion is that revenge never ends. The person for whom the revenge is intended gets motivated to return the favor and thus means it leads to more violence rather than correction. The application of punishment seems to lead to the stimulation of more violence. Research shows that harsh punishment on children leads to the development of aggression. There are also emotional aspects associated punishments that result to the development of violence. Some of these emotions include humiliation and shame. These are emotions that are said to cause narcissistic injuries to a person and result in the development of aggression. People become violent and angry when the feelings of shame and humiliation overwhelm them. The system of punishment used I the world of today cause the diminishing of the feelings of guilt and increase shame. They can sometimes be coupled with other factors associated with comfort to male gender aspects that make them highly susceptible to engage in violent activities (Gilligan, & Lee, 2004).

Punishment is associated with a direct withdrawal of esteem and love by other people. This withdrawal shows the power of the punished is lower than that of the Punisher and is meant to shame and humiliate them. This is an aspect that causes the development of violence.

There is a great need for a different system of punishment for violent people. The aim of punishment is the ability to correct the behavior of people. They need to change and become nonviolent so that they can get back to society. There is a great need for a constructive system which needs to be dignified, homelike and humane. Such a system needs to be nonviolent and promote the well-being of the people they have been developed for. The prison system needs to be transformed because it can be said that it is a system established as an experiment and has failed. It is a system that is flawed because it is based on the assumption that is associated with a system of punishment which promotes more violence. The system needs to promote nonviolence in the community and protect the society at the same time (Gilligan, & Lee, 2004).

There is a great belief that prisoners can be reformed. They can also reform themselves once given adequate resources.  But most people in the society also believe that prisoners are irredeemable, and such notions are what is keeping such systems of punishment in place instead of adopting more effective ones. One suggestion is the development of locked, residential settings that function as communities. Such a system would have to be established for the sole purpose of correction of violent people. They could also be taught the implications the violent activities have in the community and be taught how to resolve conflicts. The aim is to ensure that they have been corrected or they correct themselves so that they can return to the community as nonviolent people.

The goal is the rehabilitation of criminals. In most cases, young criminals do not get socialized well enough by the prison system. As a result, they develop to become antisocial personalities and their criminal activities continue.  There is a great need to learn and socialize criminals. This is the only way to get them back on the right side of the law. The aspect of socialization and learning are not present in the current prison system.

The article, therefore, explores the need for the establishment of anti-prisons. They would completely differ from traditional prison because they will be more like communities. They would have to be established as locked residential colleges, and they are expected to reduce crime. Such an anti-prisons system would be focused on the positive development of the inmates by adding value to their lives. It may include the ability to go to school and earn a degree. It would also ensure that they become sociable (Shaw, 2017).

The article is, therefore, effective in exploring the aspects of punishment and violence associated with the prison system it is a system developed based on a flawed notion of punishment. The punishment system used in prisons leads to humiliation and causing shame. It results in the reduction of guilt and in most cases prisoners result to being more violent. There is a great need to reduce violence in the society. The prison system is associated with high levels of recidivism whereby ass people leave prison they continue with their violent behaviors. An anti-prison system is expected to offer a correction, and learning opportunity focused on improving the behavior of prisoners rather than worsening it (CURRIE, 2017).



CURRIE, E. (2017). Crime and Punishment in America. Retrieved from

Gilligan, J., & Lee, B. (2004). Beyond the Prison Paradigm. New Academy of Science.

Shaw, D. (2017). What is going wrong with the prison system? Retrieved from


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