The topic that I would like to research for my paper is the the effects of long term prison sentences on a person’s ability to reintegrate into society. I would like to know if prison institutionalizes inmates and causes them to re-offend or hinders their ability to interact with others and live normal lives.
The reason i am interested in this topic is that I took a sociology class on crime and deviance where the professor mentioned that prisons do not always rehabilitate criminals. If they are in prison for a long period of time, they become accustomed to the life and to the rules and are unable to function without these rules when they are released. In my positive psychology class, the professor also talked about the prison system’s inability to reform inmates and the consequences it can have on their lives in the future. They are not only institutionalized, they also learn from more experienced criminals how to commit worse crimes and are more likely to use this knowledge when they are released. I hope to find research that examines the negative or positive effects of prison on inmates based on the length of their sentence. I would like to learn what percentage of the population become career criminals because they are accustomed to life in prison.