Longer and harsher prison sentences can mean that prisoners’ personalities will be changed in ways that make their reintegration difficult, finds Christian Jarrett (author).
Day after day, year after year, imagine having no space to call your own, no choice over who to be with, what to eat, or where to go. There is threat and suspicion everywhere. Love or even a gentle human touch can be difficult to find. You are separated from family and friends.
If they are to cope, then prisoners confined to this kind of environment have no option but to change and adapt. This is especially true for those facing long-term sentences – in England and Wales, around 43% of sentences now last more than four years.
The interview-based studies so far involved long-term prisoners incarcerated for many years. But an exploratory paper published in February 2018 used neuropsychological tests to show that even a short stay in prison had an impact on personality.
To read the full article, written by Christian Jarrett, click here: How Prison Changes People [BBC News]
Photo credit: Melissa Hogenboom