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?