Inmate populations can vary; there could be inmates with various criminal backgrounds and security ratings, ethnic backgrounds and inmates with diseases such as HIV. (
Since all inmates come from varied backgrounds, experiences, and cultures there is a high possibility for violence and unhealthy relationships. This poses a risk to both the correctional officers, staff, and the inmates themselves. One area in which variation encompassed within inmate populations could lead to a dangerous environment is with inmates who come from varied cultures and/or ethnic backgrounds. These different groups may have preconceived ideas about one another and use racist language which could lead to both a verbally and physically violent environment. This could also be dangerous for the officers and staff considering inmates may act aggressively to those of a different race/culture. Furthermore, inmates could come from clashing gangs which also comes with its own set of risks.
Varied criminal backgrounds could also create a very dangerous environment because some inmates may not agree with crimes that other inmates did and create violence because of this. For example, inmates who have criminal backgrounds of child molesting or child pornography. This could create serious tension within prisons and foster an extremely unhealthy environment. Because of this, there are processes in place to classify inmates and segregate them accordingly. Like our notes state, the main purpose of classifying inmates is to determine which inmates are at a risk of escape, self-harm or violence towards staff or other inmates (Whitten, 2018).
Since healthcare services are not as accessible to inmates as those outside of prison, inmates also run a heightened risk of getting and or passing around diseases of all sorts. For example, it is stated that In many countries, including Canada, HIV and hepatitis C (HCV) infection is significantly more prevalent among people in prison than among the population as a whole(Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, 2017). This could lead to very unhealthy conditions, therefore it is crucial that prisons have regular health checkups and sanitary practices to ensure diseases as such are limited.
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