In the economic sense, prison life lives by the exchange theory. When they are deprived of the things that would give them relative comfort, this would affect their attitude, making them more edgy and at worst, become even more aggressive and dangerous. In Attica, one of the demands of the inmates was better living conditions like being allowed showers daily and issued toilet paper weekly (James 2009). Being made to live under appalling conditions would agitate the inmates as well and strain relationships with prison staff.
To be provided with the bare essentials is necessary to keep inmates relatively happy and less prone to violence. By way of conclusion, it can be surmised that prison violence is caused when prisons are not properly managed. While it may be true that criminals are sent here as punishment for their crimes, what can be seen here is they are treated less than human and allowing their animalistic instincts to run wild within the walls of prison, even when violence is inflicted on fellow inmates as a way of asserting dominance, as well as putting rival racial groups together or putting dangerous felons along “tamer” ones.
Putting someone in prison is not as easy as plunking an inmate in prison and leaving him to his devices at the tender mercies of other inmates, but it should also be the place of rehabilitation as well. Those who can still be reformed must be separated from the incorrigible ones and the latter should be tightly supervised since they are the more dangerous ones. Furthermore, providing the needs of inmates is not “spoiling” them, but rather it is a way of being humane and further reminds all that inmates are still human beings and being in prison does not take away their humanity and still deserve to be treated as such (within reason).
Prison administrators should also know better not to push inmates to their limits since they have nowhere else to turn to and when pushed to the brink, will fight back, one way or the other, even if these inmates are the tamer ones, they can turn aggressive or violent when stripped of their dignity and humanity because this is all the have left ever since they were sent to prison. References
Cole, G. F. , & Smith, C. E. (2006). The American System of Criminal Justice. Santa Barabara, California: Cengage Learning. James, R. (2009, August 11). Prison Riots. Time. Retrieved August 19, 2010 from http://www. time. com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1915665,00. html. Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn to Evil. New York: Random House.