"Death Fades into insignificance when compared with life imprisonment. To spend each night in jail, day after day, year after year, gazing at the bars and longing for freedom, is indeed expiation"
-Lewis E. Lawes, warden of Sing Sing prison, 1920-41
Psychological Effects of Prison on the Prisoner
Many prisoners suffer from adverse effects caused by solitary confinement for prolonged periods of time. Prisoners are subject to sensory deprivation and lack of social contact that can have a severe negative impact on their mental health. Many prisoners suffer from
Prisoners also become overly sensitive and vulnerable to supervisors.
This is a result of the lack of social context that is needed to validate perceptions of their new hostile environment due to solitary confinement.
Another psychological effect that many prisoners experience Stockholm syndrome.This is a physchological effect in which
hostages express empathy, sympathy and have positive feelings towards their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. "Freedom from the impact of incarceration does not end at the moment of release. The harm due to detention accompanies ex-prisoners during their entry in society. Some return to drugs, violence and crime, and find themselves not before long back behind the bars."