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Prisons as a place of deprivation of Liberty have existed since immemorial. Yet prison as we know them today - place where offenders are as a punishment for their behavior -are product of the industrial age( Mrigue et al, 2005). "Idly" the reason behind the imprisonment is according to the section 142 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003( cited in Elliott and Quinn) to punish ,deter and rehabilitate of the offender . The main aims of those three areas is concerned with the recognition that the criminal has done something wrong ,located them in the institution which would rehabilitate them , so that they are less likely to commit further offence either because they learn to see the harm they are causing or because through education and training the find the other ways to spend their leisure time. The process of rehabilitation would 'change 'them into law abiding citizens. What is more it believe that it would persuade other 'potential ' criminals that such activates are not 'beneficial' - in other world it would deter people from committing further offences( Elliott and Quinn,2008). While in theory such idea seems to perfectly fit the purpose of punishment, in practice significant amount of negative experience such as intensive growth of bulling and mental health problems within the prison's environment(overcrowding, poor leaving condition) failed with successful processing of such plan(Elliot and Quinn, 2008). The aim of this essay is to compare and contrast causes of mental health and bulling in prison. As well as detect any if possible links between bulling and mental health among prisoners.
Farrington defined bulling as the ' repeated oppression of a less powerful person by a more powerful one'. He claimed that it usually include three different elements. First element include physical , verbal or psychological attack which intent to cause harm , fear or distress . Secondly existence of imbalance of power it is where more powerful person is oppressing the less powerful one, and thirdly it include continuous series of incidents between these same people over some period of time . While the mental health is defined in section 1(2) of the Mental Health Act 1983 as ' mental illness, arrested or in completed development of mind, psychopathic disorder and another disorders or disabilities of mind". Although as showed above there is a huge difference in what constitute bulling and mental health. There is no doubt that both of them can be caused by similar factors such as social and environmental causes (for example overcrowding) , physical causes and psychological causes(Ireland,2002; WHO, 1998).
The physical environment in prisons such as overcrowding, quality of accommodation, avability of contact with friends and family, lack of stimulation in form of activities may have an impact on prisoner's mental health as well as on developing of bulling in prison. According to the Marique et al. (â€¦) the imprisonment rate in England and Wales is the highest in the Western Europe, and according to the prison official statistics for England and Wales the totally prison population has increased form around fifty-one thousand in 1995 to over eighty-four thousand in 2009. What is more overcrowding in prisons may lead to increased depression, stress, boredom and nervous breakdowns, leading to serious breaches of prison discipline, violence and riots. The cause of prison overcrowding and an increase in prison population is a result of a greater number of convictions and the absence of the avability of prisons. Another equally important factor is the change in criminal justice policy. The tightening of sanctions while reducing funds for the prison also cause aggression among prisoners. Prisons have a limited capacity, and the prisoners have certain rights that should not be violated. Factors such as lack of liberty, in many of the prison prisoners are lack for twenty three hours a day, lack of or limited communication with friends and family , usually without any privacy . what is more prison take away their free will , they can no longer freely decided where to live, with whom to associated and how to fill their free time and must follow with discipline imposed by prison's rule and prison's officers.
Physical causes such as our individual characteristics or biological makeup may have some influence on causes of bulling and mental health in prisons. According to Ireland (2002) prisoners mostly come from social environment where emphasis is placed on toughness and ability to protect oneself, while entering the prison those characteristic usual give the opportunity to protect themselves , however such behavior while being in prison may linked with bulling other usually weaker and disturbed inmates( Irleand, 2002) What's more according to Farrington (â€¦) the people who tent to bull are more likely to have kids who will be bullies, and people who tend to be the victim of bulling tent to have kids who will become victim of bulling. This same may apply to prison people who tend to be weak, with low self-esteem and with love capacity of coping with prison's environment will become more likely victim of bulling then people who are characterized as strong , confident , aggressive. Also the way of our genetically makeup might put ones on more risk than other to suffer from mental illness or become victims of bulling because of our weak ability to adapt or cope with certain environments or become one of the bullies as a cause of possessing the physical skills which give prisoners ability to bully others physically , verbally or indirectly. Moreover those suffering from any injuries while being in prison. Which may be a cause of being involve in fight with other prisoners of self harming. Particularly injuries to head can also experience changes to their personality and in some cases may begin schizophrenic and psychotic.
Psychological factors such as prisoner's emotional and mental state of mind , especially when prisoner has experienced any form of physical or sexual abuse and any other forms of potentially traumatic events in the past. While there is a huge proportion of prisoners suffering from such trauma prior to imprisonment. Many will have experience such trauma as an effect of imprisonment (Crighton and Towl, 2008). Generally prison are harsh places , where discipline and routine are the essence of daily life as an effect being in prison can be stressful experience . Additionaly according to (Crighton and Towl, 2008) prisoners appear to be at high level of risk factors associated with poor traumatic responses from childhood onwards. . Psychological factors especially emotional response (Irleand, 2002)in terms of bulling will be probably more visible from victims point. Prisons can be aggressive and threatening environment especially for the first time prisoners , they may be fearful of what may happened to them. Undeniably fear is seen as necessary component in definitions of bullying in the prison environment. Moreover fear may impact prisoners' other emotions such as anxiety, nervousness, feeling of unimportance may display behaviorally through self harm or social avoidance