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There are a number of illegal and illicit practices in the United States and other countries around the world. These activities can be classified as political, social, or economic. In addition, criminal acts are largely carried out by male culture. Increased technological growth has led to a rise in the incidence of illegal and illicit activity in numerous organizations, nations, and companies. Illegal actions result in the destruction of company records and other important capital. In addition, during their operations, criminals can cause the loss of life of innocent people. As a result, many nations have established and implemented adequate mechanisms of preventing criminal and illegal activities from taking place. These mechanisms include the establishment of criminal laws, imprisonment departments, efficient policing units and introduction of severe punishments such as life imprisonment. Currently, despite adequate security in prisons, there has been an increase in prison break cases around the country. These cases have raised concerns about the efficiency of some of the security measures currently being used within our prison departments. Therefore, this research paper will focus on imprisonment. However, more emphasis and focus will be put on the recurrent problem of prison breaks. It will be aided by qualitative and quantitative research.
What is Imprisonment? Imprisonment refers to the act of confining or significantly putting an individual in prison. It can also be defined as the act of restraining the personal ability of a person, or exercising the law of coercion in order to prevent a person from freely exercising their freedom of movement. Its main purpose is not to confine criminals but to protect the society from crime, through confinement and rehabilitation of offenders (Mattick 1959). However, not all criminal cases end up in confinement. It is only ordered when Judicial Courts are convinced that the said individual poses a serious threat to law and order in the society.
The Department of Correction classifies prison breaks in the following three categories; break outs, non-return from temporary release and escape while in transit. Lately, it has been observed that there has been a sharp increase in the number of prison break cases. A research by NCRP revealed that of all the inmates who left prison in 1997, about two percent of them escaped or were absent without permission at some point during their sentence. Moreover, the study showed that at least 4456 inmates escaped throughout the year (Culp 2005). This has raised concern, by the United States security department, about the critical factors and reasons for the increase in prison breaks. The Prison escape or prison break refers to the act by which an inmate leaves a penitentiary using the illegal or unofficial method. Prison break is believed to occur through well-organized plans between the prison officers and the inmates or inmates using different tools to break through the prison buildings. One of the most cited reasons for prison breaks by inmates is deplorable prison conditions. Gold argues that although prison conditions are marred with violence and homosexuality, it is not allowed under the law to use that as a defense for prison breaks (Gold, 1183). This is to discourage large number of inmates from escaping from prison and citing that as a reason in the court of law. Moreover, the living conditions are similar in almost all prisons.
The study uses qualitative and quantitative research to provide primary and secondary data regarding the prison escape. The secondary data is obtained from the security department (Prison department of the United States).Fundamental information is derived from the reformed inmates who have been serving prison terms. Moreover, the research significantly uses statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) to analyze data.
Results and discussions
The united states have experienced historical prison escapes from the year 1900 to date. However, the escape of Charlie Wilson in 1964 stands out from the rest. Charlie was the leader of Green Train Robbery. It occurred on eighth of August 1963. During this robbery, Charlie and his gang got away with two million dollars. However, Charlie was later on arrested and sentenced to thirty years in prison. Four months after his sentencing, Charlie’s partners broke into the Winson Green prison where he was serving time and released him. This escape is peculiar because it is rare for people to come from outside and break a prisoner out (Buck, 1 – 8).
It is not in all prison breaks that the inmates secretly cut through steel bars and walls. For instance, the escape of John Dillinger from Lake County jail in 1934. Lake County was believed to be one of the most secure prisons at the time. In fact, the police refused to transfer Dillinger to other prisons because they didn’t think anyone was capable of breaking out of the prison. Buck narrates that Dillinger obtained a fake gun made out of wood and painted it black with shoe polish. He then used it to abduct one prison guard and took his gun. From there, Dillinger roughed up all the guards, took their guns and escaped with some of his fellow inmates. (Buck 201-202).
Most inmates consider use of force to be the most stringent approach for prison escape. For example, in 1984, six men on death row escaped from Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Boydton, Virginia. Their names were Earl Clanton, Linwood Briley, Derrick Peterson, James and Willy Jones. The six inmates took advantage of the laxity of prison guards when undertaking prison procedures. Secretly, Clanton hid in one of the officer’s restroom after returning from afternoon recreation. One of the inmates gave him a signal and he came out, opened the locks releasing the other inmates. They took over the prison, tied the policemen up and took their uniforms. The inmates then found riot gear, wore helmets and gas masks and made a fake bomb. The bomb was a television set with a blanket thrown over it. Clanton and his friends then carried the ‘bomb’ on a green stretcher and sprayed it strategically with a fire extinguisher when they were about to walk out of the unit. After marching out of the unit, they put the ‘bomb’ in a van and drove out of the prison (Buck 204).
Governments have put up a few measures to prevent inmates from trying to escape from prisons. According to the Department of Corrections, governments have improved the security in and around prisons through combining management and technical security features. They have also enhanced and encouraged interaction between inmates and staff to enable them to detect problems before they boil over. They have also started regional imprisonment where inmates are taken to prisons close to their homes to enable their families to visit them more often.
An imprisonment is an act of captivity that is bestowed on an individual based on their criminal conduct. It significantly helps in the reformation of people who are perceived to be criminals hence affecting the lives of people and the activities of the society. Prison break on the other hand refers to the act through which an inmate leaves a prison using illegal or unofficial means. Most famous prison escapes in The US include six men on death row who escaped from Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Boydton in 1984, Virginia John Dillinger and the escape of Charlie Wilson in 1964. Inmates escape from prisons using different mechanisms. Some of these methods include; use of brute force to kidnap staff and stage walk outs, using their partners on the outside to break them out and some fashioning fake weapons and using them to threaten guards and take them as human shields. Despite an increase in prison escapes, the US government has currently established elaborate reliable and efficient ways for lucky imprisonment. These include the provision of new technologies, close interaction of staff and inmates and many more.
Buck, Paul. Prison Break: True Stories of the World's Greatest Escapes, John Blake, 2012. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral-proquest-com.ezproxy.gsu.edu/lib/gsu/detail.action?docID=946119.
Culp, Richard F. “Frequency and Characteristics of Prison Escapes in the United States: An Analysis of the National Data.” The Prison Journal 2005:275. Citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/summary?doi=10.1.1.849.2782&rank=1.
Mattick, Hans W. “Some Latent Functions of Imprisonment”. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1959): 239. scholarlycommons.law.northwestern.edu/jclc/vol50/iss3/4/
Gold, Judith Z. “Prison Escape and Defenses Based on Conditions: A theory of Social Preference”. California Law Review 1979: 1183. Scholarship.law.berkeley.edu/carlifonialawreview/vol67/iss5/4/
“Preventing Escapes”. Department of Corrections. http://www.corrections.govt.nz/working_with_offenders/prison_sentences/managing_offenders/preventing_escapes.html. Accessed 2nd November 2017.
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