PRISONERS AS FAMILY, AS FRIEND
The criminal justice system must be applied in a cold, neutral and objective manner. It cannot be otherwise or the system would loose its meaning. It must pass muster from law enforcement to prosecution, from the courts through corrections, until eventually towards community. That is how it should work.
Considering the fact that of all imperatives of criminal justice, it is in corrections where a convict stays and spends a considerable period of time, a different projection is therefore to be applied. From a cold, neutral and objective way, corrections must exude a different persona, a relatively contrasting persona from that of the system. The prison community must perceive their authorities not from the prism of hostility but rather from the point of fair alliance. That is to say that prisoners must realize that their custodians as parent, as friend, as confidant.
There is no other way unless one intends to breach the principles of human rights and transgress every effort to make prison life a humane community.
Corrections adheres to safekeeping and rehabilitation of offenders. The only way through this mandate to be applied is through the heart and mind. It may be off tangent with what has been its traditional past, its recent behavioral relations but working on the welfare of the prison community does not sit well with imposing tortures and harassments.
Offenders have violated the norms of society. They have disturbed the peace and desecrated public safety. Their notoriety equates disenfranchisement with social life. As a result, they should bear the brunt of segregation and enforced lamentation in a small space called prison. If at all they are beyond redemption, the State could have unplugged all hopes and should have pulled the lever of extermination. But it cannot. The criminal justice administration has as yet to fulfill the apex of justice, the true determination of truth. As it were, there are a number of acquittal in prison, this for a period after review of (some even would take place over) 10 years!
Name every person of substance, any hero even any spiritual leader, be they event makers or event made. Name any one who has achieved greatness and significance. All of them have something in common—they were all imprisoned once upon a time.
The guilty and innocents are within the enclave devoted to incarceration. Like the free community they are there co existing, partaking of life in a restricted and limited manner. Prison could only offer so much. But there is one area, which can level this up and promote justice in the real sense—the correctional orientation of its officers.
They should believe that their role is crucial in the mandate of rehabilitation, in the course of behavioral reformation. From their ranks should emanate the principle of brotherhood, of concern as in family ties and commitment in the pursuit of friendship. Such persuasive projection to the prison community could lead eventually to a change of perception, from hostility to cooperation, from treachery to collaboration. Such is the essence of reform, the lifeblood of rehabilitation, the soul of corrections.