The Mythology Of Criminal Justice Vs Prison History

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Zaiba Maryam Alex Vital criminology 14 December 2015 Prisons “Prison History” documentary vs. “The Mythology of Crime and Criminal Justice” How prisons work and how is crime dealt with is very important since it influences crime rates and affects lives of part, albeit a small one, of the general population. However, the approach to penitentiary system is often overlooked and neglected by the general public. Such neglect has a potential to create problems in any given country in the world. It could be particularly troublesome for the United States, since USA has more than two million people imprisoned, which is the highest inmate population in the world and also about a quarter of the total number of inmates on the planet (“Prison History”).…show more content…
preventing more crimes from happening. For example, in the movie it is stated that most important features which architects keep in mind during design and construction of prison blocks are safety of the public and safety of the staff. Meanwhile safety of the prisoners becomes overlooked as a secondary priority. In the book, a corresponding statement is being made, as society often approves for longer sentences and harsher conditions for prisoners because it makes them feel safer ( qtd. in Kappeler, Potter and Blumberg…show more content…
In most states, criminals would serve longer sentences than people who committed the same crimes in Europe or Canada. Death penalty which is also a reality in almost all states with few exceptions has been abolished in all European states, sometimes as early as in 19th century. Yet, somehow American public tends to find criminal justice in the US too lenient, despite often knowing very little of actual conditions in prison. Both the documentary and the book give us a good insight on the development of the prisons and their current conditions both in United States and in the world. The movie tends to be more informative and provides the background data on how prisons worked in the past. The book, on the other hand, focuses on analysis and highlighting the disadvantages of existing penitentiary system as well as trying to break a myth that criminals in US aren’t treated harsh

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