Prison Life

A large portion of male inmates have a history of violent behavior. By the end of 2005, 53% of adults sentenced to state prisons were for violent offenses.” (Seiter, p. 358, 2011). With the high percentage, it is not shocking to prison officials or officers when violence between inmates takes place. Therefore, violence becomes a way of life for many inmates because violence is how they solved problems on the streets (a contributing factor to their incarceration) and how they solve problems in prison. An inmate bringing their violent ways into prison with them is a theory known as importation (Seiter, p. 358, 2011).

The threat of violence is always present in a correctional setting. Some inmates choose to act violently only when provoked, and some inmates look for reasons to act violent in order to prove they are tough, to decrease the likelihood of becoming a prey for other inmates to pick on. The theory of “pick out the biggest guy their and fight him, even if you lose” is a mentality often seen in movies and TV. Most of the time inmates want to just to their time and get on with their lives. They do not want more drama then they already put themselves in.

Many inmates over the years have proceeded with frivolous lawsuits which has greatly backlogged the system. There has been many lawsuits over the years for such things as the type of food served, the amount of TV time an inmate receives, and the type of work the inmate can do. The enactment of the Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996 helped to put an end to the frivolous lawsuits. “In 1996, Congress passed the Prison Litigation Reform Act, requiring inmates filing prison suits to pay a filing fee unless they claim pauper status, limiting awards of attorney fees, punishing inmates with loss of good time for filing frivolous suits, and prohibiting inmates from suing for mental or emotional distress unless they have suffered a physical injury.” (Seiter, 2011 p. 472)