Shawshank Redemption

Prison has always been a place of intrigue for people who have not spent time behind the bars of justice. Countless movies have been made to feed that intrigue by depicting prison life, but most have been grossly inaccurate. The effectiveness of a prison system relies on the rehabilitation process that is enacted by each prison; this process is usually overlooked in most movies. “The Shawshank Redemption” shows how movies misinterpret rehabilitation and prison life. This false impression is what the general public views as, life behind bars.

In the criminal justice system, prison plays a vital role in deterring citizens from committing offences. The images held by the general public, due to the media’s account of the prison system, are enough to prevent most people from committing crimes. This representation in movies and television programs is often false and misleading, portraying the prison system as a dangerous place where criminals are sent to pay for their crimes. Now in this movie the prison guards were made out to be major prick.

The prisoners were made out to be the good guys. The way the justice systems functions in this movie is the guards did do their jobs and kept the prisoners in line. Like typical movies, certain prisoners would get special treatment if they helped out the guards which Andy was one of them. Some people say prisons are just dysfunctional on the inside as they are on the outside of them. On the other hand, other people say the prisons are functional and that the guards are the good people and the prisoners are the bad people.

No Matter what anyone does, a prison will never change how they treat the prisoners and how the prisoners treat the guards. Criminals are constantly shown living in fear of other inmates or working tirelessly on the roads or laundry mats. These representations more often than not, disregard the rehabilitation process which is a key factor in proving a prison to be effective in its goal. The main goal of a prison is to not only segregate offenders from society but, to rehabilitate them back into the public.

The effectiveness of a prison is measured by the extent of the prisoner’s rehabilitation. If the offender has been properly and fully rehabilitated then the prison is proven effective but, does the effectiveness of the prison solely rely on the extent of rehabilitation or are there other factors that contribute to the effectiveness? Very few movies depict rehabilitation, and the ones that do, portray a very weak depiction of the rehabilitation process and programs.

The Shawshank Redemption” is a perfect example of how prison rehabilitation is portrayed very poorly in a movie. Contrary to the reality of prison systems, the movie does not show how prisons are designed to rehabilitate offenders through programs and treatments. Having a proper understanding of the importance of the rehabilitation process and how lack thereof can result in problems such as institutionalization and recidivism one can begin to appreciate the significant role rehabilitation plays in an effective prison.

Even though the depiction of rehabilitation in “The Shawshank Redemption” is inaccurate it still informs us that there is some sort of rehabilitation in effect though much more in-depth in reality. The effectiveness of prisons does rely largely on the level of success of rehabilitation, but it also relies on the offender’s willingness to change because even though all these programs are in effect none of them are mandatory. However the question still remains, how can we motivate an offender to want to change and take advantage of the programs offered and leave behind their criminal past?