Green Light Study
Discussions have been going on in the country as to whether correctional facilities help to reform a parson who has been incarcerated. Many within the correctional systems believe that it does help but statistics show otherwise. The green light study was carried out in New York so as to ascertain whether the correctional facilities do help reform prisoners and make them better members of the society.
The study involved putting prisoners into three groups and later follow ups were made for two or three years after release. One group was taken through a pre-release program where they were equipped with skills of survival and correction before release with an aim of reintegrating them back to the society seamlessly (Wilson, 2007). The second group was taken through the normal correction programs and preparation before release which had been in the facility. The third group was released to the society without any equipping with any skills. The two latter groups were used as a control; to be compared with the first. The first group was equipped with social skills which included cognitive behavior training. Housing facilities were arranged for them same as practical skills training. Moreover, Drug awareness was done and the inmates were attached to community based networks for support (Wilson, 2007).
After release and follow up, the results were analyzed. In the interim, the quality of life, family relationship and employment were no different in the three groups. However, the green light group had more parole knowledge and they received more service referrals. Recidivism was highest in the first group as compared to the control groups. This failure was attributed to the fact that the class sizes were bigger that the recommended ten to thirteen participants. The curriculum was also delivered in a shorter period than the recommended time. Moreover, this program was not customized to meet each participant’s problems (Wilson, 2007).
Stanford Prison Experiment
The Stanford prison experiment exhibits that individuals seem to acquire the characteristics of the system they are in. This is proven when the prison warden chooses to be inhuman to the prisoners. Again, the superintendent successfully manages to condition the officer’s minds by granting them the power to meet out punishment to the prisoners who are perceived to be disobedient.
At the winding up of the experiment, the brutal officer is apologetic for all the inhuman acts he performed on the prisoners. He had completely adopted the role of a ruthless officer and took actions towards frustrating the lives of the prisoners. The brutal officer is compromised by the prison system to the point where he runs his own experiments. He took the character of violent officer he had watched in a movie (Duke, 1971). Moreover, he subconsciously rules over other officers leading to unwarranted delegation of duties. This proves that one is conditioned by the environment in which they live in.
The imprisoned people fully adopt their new lives as prisoners forgetting their previous lives. This goes further to ascertain that environments condition those exposed to them. Searches carried out at night and inhumane acts like indiscriminate stripping leads them to hatch defiance plans. This is manifested in the barricading of their rooms. When he was released, the prisoner’s leader hears the others chant. They portray him as a bad person because he has abandoned them. This leads him to break down to tears, and then opts to get back to prison as a show of solidarity. The prison environment had held him captive and could not think on his own (Duke, 1971).
It is evident that the prison environment contributes much to the behavior of prisoners upon release. It is prudent that the prison conditions are made more human and oriented towards correction not punishing. Correctional programs should also be instituted upon admission until the prisoner is released so as to inculcate the behavior in them.
Duke, K. (Director). (1971).The Stanford Prison Experiment .United States: BBC studio.
Wilson, J. (2007). Habilitation or Harm: Project Greenlight and the Potential Consequences of Correctional Programming. NIJ Journal, 257. Retrieved from http://www.nij.gov/journals/257/habilitation-or-harm.html