The life in prison portrayed in media is different from what is happening in the reality. There is inhuman treatment to the prisoners – most especially to the mentally ill prisoners.
The prisons in the United States have systemic administration; clean and enough facilities for all; a place conducive for human to live in compared to the other prisons. Prisoners are given their own assigned work. They are even paid for the said work. However, the money that they earn may only be used to purchase to the merchandise sold in the prison. The merchandise are junk food and clothing. The use of the phone and email are not free. The prisoners may use the said facilities with the use of the money they earned from their work assigned. It is basically a meritocratic approach. The prisons also have other facilities to keep the prisoners fit. There are gym equipment but are installed outside the premises of the building.
The description of the prison seems to be good to live in but the truth is that the prisoners treated inhumanly. There are prison staff who are abusing their authority over the prisoners. There are stories of maltreatment over each prisoner. This also depends on how the prisoner behaves in the prison. Some are inflicted of physical pain. Some are not given enough food, as if starving them to death. The maltreatment is a violation of the human rights – as a prisoner and even as a person.
The prison staff are allowed to treat the mentally ill prisoners to use violence when the mentally ill prisoners are misbehaving. The mistake in the case is that, generally, mentally ill people do not know what they are actually doing. They have lost the control of their rational mind or sometimes their actions are merely dictated by their illness. The mental illness of the person may be the cause of their commission of the crime to which they may possible be aware of. The treatment towards the mentally ill person must be different from those who are not.
According to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person (Article 3); No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment (Article 5); Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law (Article 6). There are the rights that the prisoners must be accorded for.
However, I believe there are reasons for the maltreatment of the prison staff towards the prisoners regardless of their mental state. One, to work in prison is to live in fear. The prison staff are actually living with criminals who are not afraid of anything. The prison staff are using violence, force and intimidation towards the prisoners to instill fear to the prisoners. Through this, the prison staff find comfort in working inside a prison. Two, there is lack of training to the prison staff. The prison staff must be aware on how the prisoners must be treated to – especially the human rights. Three, the prison staff cannot treat the prisoners mildly because the prisoners may take advantage of this to escape.
More than the curing of the problem with regard to the maltreatment to the prisoners, there must be an education of the human rights starting young. The students must be taught how to treat other people in general. This will not only improve the treatment to the prisoners but also eventually eradicate the bullying and other violation of human rights to any person in the United States.