Negative Effects of Imprisonment

Imprisonment is a kind of punitive reaction, its object being primarily to deprive the offender of his liberty. There are several negative effects of imprisonment, as given below:-

1)   Prisonisation:-The prisoner is introduced to a new environment with its own culture. From a human being bearing personal characteristics he is converted into a mere impersonal entity, his name i.; replaced by a number. His clothes, food and leisure hours are same as of the fellow prisoners – he isa unit to be processed by prison staff and the prisoner is perceived as a job, rather than as a person. This results in the social debasement of the convict in his own eyes.

2)  Effects on family relations:-The prison damages the family life of the convict, because of very few contacts with the family members. Many legal systems recognizes imprisonment as a ground of divorce.

3)   Hardening of criminals:- The negative attitude of prison staff (break rather than remake a person), results in the prisoner developingmore hostile anti-social attitudes after his release from the jail. Also, contact with the other criminals in jail do no good to him and he may become engaged in gambling and deviant sexual behaviour .

4)   Convict bogey:- The real punishment for the prisoner begins after leaving the jail. The stigma attached to such imprisonment, makes his rehabilitation difficult, as society continue to see him as a criminal. He is thus forced to take the same criminal activities again, because no other option is left for him.

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