Duties to Prisoners

From Alfino
Jump to navigationJump to search

Return to Ethics

Follow this pattern to post research results and links to this page:

  • (Brief description of resource. Link if any. Your real name.)

Try to group your posts under topics, maybe using subheadings or putting posts near other related topics.

Duties to Prisoners

Main Topic Questions

  • We may need to discuss the topic scope in class. Here are some possibilities.
  • Focus on the death penalty.
  • Ask what, if any, duties we have to prisoners? Are we obligated to provide resources beyond basic legal rights, food, safety, and shelter?
  • Address the social justice issue of mass incarceration.
  • What are the ethics behind mass incarceration?

Research Needs

*Ask what, if any, duties we have to prisoners? Are we obligated to provide resources beyond basic legal rights, food, safety, and shelter?

  • Reasons for crimes
  • Funding for rehabilitation projects
  • Benefits of society in the long run based on the treatment of prisoners
  • Studies on rehabilitation projects and statistics on re-entry after rehabilitation


  • Life after prison - Prisoners need to be set up for success in society if they are to be released back into the real world. They need to be treated with respect, given opportunities to work or educate themselves, given some sort of therapy, and be set up with a social worker to plan for the next steps in life. [1] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • Stanford prison experiment - Something that seems shocking at first, like putting paper bags over a prisoner's face or seeing people in cages, turned into something normal over time. Role playing turns into real life situations. [2] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • Prisoner re-entry and programs used to help reduce this - The high volumes of prisoners in the United States is due to re-entry of prisoners with three years of release. Thousands of prisoners are released everyday and two-third of them will re-enter prison. [3] and [4] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • Reasons for imprisonment - a good pie chart showing the different reasons for imprisonment and the relative numbers. [5] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • 68% of State prisoners have no high school diploma [7] (Rudy Bermúdez)
  • Rehabilitation - There is a definition of rehabilitation, some arguments against it, and some programs that are/were in place in the U.S.. [8] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • Beyond the prison bubble - [9] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • "Offender Reentry: Correctional Statistics, Reintegration into the Community, and Recidivism" - The title says it all. [10] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • Mass Incarceration in the US- This gives some basic but useful information on how many people are incarcerated in the US, gives some insight into what may or may not be ethical. It sheds light on life after prison and poses questions about how we can fix our prison system. [11] (Emilee Phillips)
  • The Effect of Education on Prisoners- this article from The New York Times discusses the positive impact of educating inmates. [12] (Emilee Phillips)
  • Recidvism- This website discusses the issue of recidivism, that is criminals who are repeatedly put back into jail. It provides basic statistics and discusses possible causes and solutions to the issue. [13] (Emilee Phillips)
  • Moral Philosophy of the Death Penalty - This article gives perspective into a utilitarian and Kantian perspective of the death penalty. [14] - Allison Hammer
  • Healthcare treatment in US prisons. This study offers some insight about the physical and mental health of prisoners incarcerated in the United States, and how many of them lack the treatment they need. Could help support an argument that the United States could be doing more to rehabilitate the inmates rather than simply lock them up. [15] Another article from NPR talks about how prisoners still often have to pay copays while in prison [16](Luke Schumm)
  • Norway has very low incarceration and recidivism rates. These articles are opinion pieces about positives about their prison system, and one that thinks it's not applicable to the United States. [17] [18] the con side: [19] (Sarah Blazevic)
  • Current trends in US corrections. This article talks about the major trends seen in incarceration in the United States with statistics on women, juveniles, etc. [20] (Allison Hammer)
  • Education while in prison - and interesting article from NY times about prisoners that received college educations while behind bars. It talks about prisoners' lives post jail if they are educated, non educated, and what this all means for the state taxpayers. [21] Another article, this one from the Federal Bureau of Prisons, talks about the current education that is offered to inmates. However, it is very vague and doesn't necessarily mean this is what happens in prisons [22] (Luke Schumm)
  • How US prisons are more racist than we think they are--this article discusses how the prison system harshly discriminates against people of color. (Ximena Hernandez)[23]
  • Here is a preview of an important section of a book titled The Ethics of Medical Involvement in Capital Punishment. On page 92 and above it dives into a Kantian perspective. [24] -Brandon Pollard
  • This is a study that found significant increases in aggressive behaviors and some evidence of increased attention problems among children whose fathers are incarcerated. The estimated effects of paternal incarceration are stronger than those of other forms of father absence http://www.jstor.org/stable/41408219 (gabby podegracz)
  • This paper talks about the emergence of mass incarceration and describe its significance for African American family life. The era of mass incarceration can be understood as a new stage in the history of American racial inequality, as well as a period of dramatic growth in the American penal system ; http://www.jstor.org/stable/40375840 (gabby podegracz)
  • This paper discusses how incarceration can have negative impacts on the stability of marriages and most likely leads to divorce or seperations:http://www.jstor.org/stable/3600200 (gabby podegracz)
  • Opinion on the consequences of mass incarceration- [25](Michael Rosson)
  • Different theories of punishment- [26] (Michael Rosson)
  • Editorial on how to fix mass incarceration- [27] (Michael Rosson)
  • How the war on drugs affected incarceration rates- [28] (Michael Rosson)
  • There's a documentary on netflix, Babies Behind Bars, which talks about issues that come with women who are pregnant when they come to prison and a new program in a prison that lets inmates keep their babies in prision this link [29] has results from the program (Sarah Blazevic)
  • Equal Justice Initiative, a law firm in Montgomery, Alabama fights for prisoners rights. Their website has information on mass incarceration, the death penalty, racial justice, and children in prison. [30] (Justin Wiens)
  • This textbook chapter easily breaks down some of the connections between philosophy and prisons, very useful.[31] (Laura Marck)
  • 13th is a documentary about the mass incarceration of African Americans in the United States prison system. Here is a youtube video of the trailer. [32] (Laura Marck)

ProQuest Scholarly Articles- Note you may need to log into ProQuest through the library before you can access this article. To find the database go to gonzaga.edu, click on Libraries under the Academics tab, select Foley Library, select databases, and search ProQuest. You will need to simply enter your normal GU user name and password to get access.

  • This article looks into the negative impacts that prisons can have on local communities. [33] (Laura Marck)
  • This journal addresses the rise in a punishment focus among Liberal prison reforming movements. [34] (Laura Marck)
  • This research the prevalence of mental health illnesses among incarcerated people in state prisons. For more info on mental health see the mental health section.[35] (Laura Marck)
  • In this article, the barriers to mental health recovery among prisoners are brought into question. [36] (Laura Marck)

Statistics/Quick-read information

  • A few statistics about education levels in American prisons - [37] (Luke Schumm)
  • Facts and charts on mass incarceration- [38] (Michael Rosson)
  • Standards on Treatment of Prisoners. This website gives a list of standards on treatment ranging from acceptable disciplinary actions to ensuring that prisoners receieve necessary health care. [39] (Elisabeth Sitio)
  • Prison Spending. A US Department of Education briefing on state and local prison spending versus spending on education. [40] (Michael Pham)
  • Statistics on World Prison Populations - A brief look at how the United States prisoner population compares to other countries [41] (Allison Hammer)
  • Facts about the Death Penalty-Regarding race, trends, innocence, cost, deterrence, arbitrariness, and mental illness [42] (Justin Wiens)
  • Inmate programs and treatment - There is a list of programs, a brief description and an effectiveness rating. [43] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • Corrections-Based Vocational Training Programs - This is from the same website as above but it talks specifically about vocational training programs in prisons and three meta-analyses that found a significant reduction in recidivism for inmates who participated in vocational training programs versus inmates who didn't participate. [44] (Elisabeth Sitio)
  • Incarceration facts and re-entry - information on length of incarceration between states, cost of prisoners in different states, re-entry facts within five years of release, blacks vs whites incarceration rate for the same crime... [45] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • 18 facts on U.S. prisons - [46] (Kelsey K. Smith)

Mental Health and Personality Development in Prison

  • PBS/ BBC documentary narrated by David Eagleman, a neuroscientist and Stanford University Scholar about the development of the human brain and the lack of a fixed identity. For that portion more specifically look at around minute 24:30 [47]. (Laura Marck)
  • A break down of Walter Mischel's Cognitive-Affective Model of Personality a theory that is based around an ever changing model of personality. [48] (Laura Marck)
  • A further look into Stanford lecturer Walter Mischel's discussion of cognitive learning. [49] (Laura Marck)

TED Talks

  • Sabra Williams talking about the Actors Gang Prison Project (for more info see Mental Health section)- [50] and for a deeper look at the Actors Gang look here- [51]. (Laura Marck)
  • TedTalk from Zimbardo on evil - Everyone is capable of becoming evil. It has to do with the situation, and this usually includes some sort of power control. This can tie into what people think of prisoners, as separate from us "good people". When really, they are just like us but who have succumbed to the evil. Treatment in prisons should be set to a certain level and controlled by those who aren't accustomed to seeing it on a daily basis. [52] (Kelsey K. Smith)
  • This ted talk looks into how the poor can be more negatively affected by incarceration [53] (Laura Marck)
  • Turning prisons into schools- A ted talk, talking about why mass incarceration is addressing the wrong issues in our society, and that lack of education is really the central problem that is not being addressed. [54] (Laura Marck)
  • Re-humanizing inmates- this is a prisoner talking as a part of the TED in prison series who is talking about how the current treatment of prisoners de-humanizes them and increases problems among incarcerated individuals [55] in general all of these Prison TED talks can be very helpful here are some searches to help find more [56] and [57]. (Laura Marck)

NPR Pieces on Prisons

  • "Food As Punishment: Giving U.S. Inmates 'The Loaf' Persists"- this article discusses how giving a nutritional but bland edit has been used as a punishment in many prisons [58] (Laura Marck)
  • "Inside Lewisburg Prison: A Choice Between A Violent Cellmate Or Shackles"- In this piece the story of one prisoners experience with a more extreme punishment of shackle punishment is exposed, and solitary confinement is also questioned [59] (Laura Marck)
  • "THE CODE SWITCH PODCAST: How One Inmate Changed The Prison System From The Inside" on this episode of code switch a journalist who spent time interviewing Martin Sostre speaks about his history bringing rights to prisoners [60] (Laura Marck)
  • "New York Approves Reforms To Keep Juvenile Offenders Out Of Adult Prisons"- In some states criminals over 16 sometimes go to adult prison, and this piece looks into how that is changing in New York [61] (Laura Marck)
  • "One Lawyer's Fight For Young Blacks And 'Just Mercy'"- this article not only addresses how racial issues can become innately tied to mass incarceration [62] (Laura Marck)
  • An NPR podcast called Invisabilia questions the idea that personality is stable (also see mental health section). [63] (Laura Marck)