Initially, I was extremely scared and nervous to visit a prison—something I’ve only seen on television. During intake, we had to leave behind our cell phones and make sure we had absolutely no metal on our clothes. After we finally were able to walk inside the prison, I was amazed. The buildings were surprisingly clean and there were a lot of programs offered to the prisoners. For example, some inmates are given the chance to participate in vocational programs and work for the in-house metal factory that manufactures metal products for the state. We also were able to see a row of the inmate’s cells, which were very cramped and had absolutely no privacy. The most memorable part of the trip was getting to see the eye opening everyday life and conditions of an inmate living in prison. After leaving, my whole perspective of everything I had learned about prisons in the past had changed. I would whole-heartedly recommend this experience to any student interested in our corrections system!
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This is the official blog for the Criminal Justice Student Association at RIT. We will be updating you about things from the CJSA as well as the RIT Pre-Law Association, Criminal Justice Department and events you may be interested in! We will also share information about topics you may find of interest. Be sure to email us if you want to see something or if you are interested in writing a blog post!
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Right before visiting Attica State Prison, I’m going to admit, fear filled my entire body. With how all of these TV shows and movie portray Prisons, I imagined that we would walk into the facility, and that we would have all of these intimidating inmates yelling at us to purposely make us nervous. Since we were on a school tour, I thought that the inmates would be temporarily locked in their cell until our visit was over, so that we would not have to worry about any potential harm.
When we first walked into the facility, like normal visitors, we all went through the screening of metal detectors for security purposes. As the tour began, we were told that all of the inmates are required to wear green pants, so we will be able to tell them apart from anyone else. As we walked into the first block, I realized that the inmates were not separated from us. Some were in their cells, but all of the gates were unlocked and opened. Majority of them were walking around, doing their normal daily routines. I could not believe the discipline in the facility, it was nothing like I imagined. All of the inmates were respectful to us, and none of them even spoke. I was also surprised at how the inmates treated the Correctional Officers; they all had mutual respect towards each other. I was also surprised to hear that the inmates are the ones who maintain everything in the facility: the cleaning, preparing meals, repairing, etc.-the facility was kept so clean, and had everything running in a smooth, organized manner.
The Attica visit was an amazing experience that I am very glad that I was able to be a part of. It really allowed me to clear up all of my myths about the facilities, and see for myself what it is really like. I would like to thank the Attica faculty, Dr. Porter, Dr. Scott, and the Criminal Justice Student Association E-Board for putting this event together!
I would have to say that my experience visiting the Attica Prison facility was one of shock and amazement. This was the first time that I have ever visited a prison and I was surprised at the level of discipline that the inmates had. It was not what I expected. The facilities were very clean and everything ran in a systematic way. Additionally, there was respect showed on all levels - the prisoners respected the staff and the staff respected the prisoners.
Rhonda D. Baker
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Attica State Prison in New York. The experience in visiting the prison was very remarkable for me. Although it was not as I initially expected, for example, screaming and shouting prisoners, and fights as often displayed in popular televisions shows, I will never forget the experience as it is rare that one has the opportunity to visit a place that few of the average people in society get to experience.
I will not go into detail describing the prison garb, the appearance of the facilities, or the demeanors of the occupants. I am sure they will be covered by my peers in their accounts. One thing that I would like to mention is a question that lingered in my mind throughout my entire time touring the prison. Offenders are sent to prison in part as a result of an attempt by the State to rehabilitate them, and assist them into transitioning into law-abiding lifestyles. Thus, part of the task of prisons is to “correct” the problems within the offender.
One question that remains however is, addresses societal problems? How can one discuss the topic of corrections without addressing some of the ills in society that play a part in perpetuating criminality?
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
The Criminal Justice Student Association is offering exam help weeks 4, 5, 10 and during finals at Wallace Library Idea Factory. We will have members that will be able to assist deaf and hard of hearing students and offer tutoring in sign for some classes. If you are interested, please e-mail us (Cjsa.firstname.lastname@example.org) with the class you are taking and we will find a member best suited to help you!