Monday, 9 November 2009

Why Sentimentalise?

Besides punishment, rehabilitation and reintegration are the principal goals of imprisonment. Whilst sentimentalising prisons is not necessarily always a wise approach, perhaps it plays an important part in easing the prisoner back into society. Artists that are more compassionate in their depictions of prisoners could be seen to be supporting this. If prisoners are portrayed negatively in art and in the press then their reinsertion into society is made all the more difficult by the impact that these images have on the exterior world. De-humanising images of prisoners will only allow the public to distance themselves further from inmates, thus making reinsertion impossible. Artists who try to portray a more sensitive and human side to prisoners influence public opinion towards attempting to understand inmates and this, in theory, should make it easier for them to eventually reintegrate into society.

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