When people go to prison, sometimes they don’t want to leave. As hard as it may be for some people to understand, what many call being “institutionalized” is a very real thing. This is because prisons take a toll on the minds of inmates and make unimaginable changes.
People often aren’t the same after they leave prison because of what’s described as “prisonation” or “institutional syndrome.” It’s people getting used to their environment, which changes them, and for some, may make them feel safer in a place that has become familiar.
For people suffering from mental illnesses, which prisons are not equipped to care for and treat, this can easily become the case. But it happens to people who aren’t facing mental health issues too. People even have trouble adjusting once released and may want to GO BACK!
The Marshall Project reported the longest-serving prisoner in North Carolina is a man named John Phillips. Serving a life sentence, he’s been in prison since April 8, 1952. Arrested at 18, he’s been there 66 years despite having developmental and intellectual disabilities. He says he’s lost the desire to leave.
If prison were doing the job of reforming people and not just punishing them, it wouldn’t run the risk of affecting someone mentally for the REST OF THEIR LIFE.
This is not just a quick punishment. This is a life changing experience that spells major trouble for our community.