Americans recognize that most prisoners become institutionalized by their experiences while incarcerated. However it must be understood that most criminals were institutionalized as free citizens.
My dictionary defines institution: "an established practice, law, or custom." As such, an institutionalized person is one who has adopted a particular practice, law, or custom.
Let us go further. The dictionary defines psychopath: "a mentally ill or unstable person; especially: a person who engages in antisocial behavior and exhibits a pervasive disregard for the rights, feelings, and safety of others."
Is it not now vividly clear that criminal delinquency is in itself a psychopathic institution?
Miscreants despise criminal justice system personnel. Many criminals believe its their right to victimize and exploit others. Lets not forget to include those who pretend to fight crime while manipulating the public. The criminal justice system's primary objective is to deprive criminals of that self-granted right. Well, at least the criminals they are instructed to pursue. Thus, to the common criminal, the law makers and enforcers are the evil doers. Likewise, any who agrees with, supports, or simply relies on representatives of the law for basic protection of their rights is detestable. For the common criminal, personal violent retaliation is most appropriate whenever they perceive they were wronged-regardless of the potential consequences.
The law generally protects the public. The criminal justice system-though not at all perfect, and is definitely exploitative-is in place, partly, to remove criminals from society as a deterrent. It would only be sensible for a person who hates the system and its personnel to avoid its entrapment by not breaking the law, but most institutions are not rational.
Due to the unfortunate systematic immiseration and psychological alienation of those statistically most likely to serve time in prison, (predominately African-American males,) most of them are incapable of rehabilitation as it is idealized by the naive. Rehabilitation is restoration to a healthy state. We are discussing persons who weren't morally, emotionally, or mentally healthy in the first place.
The bigger crime is then committed when these people are subjected to an environment where activities such assaults, compulsive gambling, racketeering, extortion, theft, robbery, exploitation, drug addiction (illegal, and prescribed psychotropic medicines,) alcoholism, indecent exposure, rape, and even murders are the social norm. The prisoner who likely began life socioeconomically dehumanized is further institutionalized with a more atrociously psychopathic morality. They become learned and automatic behaviors that a frightening majority of prisoners take with them to society after they are released.
Even those who do not assimilate are psychologically damaged via mere exposure.
Meanwhile, many prisoners distribute a great deal of news pertaining to ill-treatment at the hands of prison staff and administrators while doing little or nothing to discourage the abominable acts perpetrated amongst themselves. This is not to say they shouldn't fight for what few rights they are entitled to when the tyrannical and abusive prison personnel violate them. However, it is pointless for anyone to revel in the pointing out of various causes of conditions they dislike if they will not take the time to objectively evaluate and correct the personal ideologies that contributed to their landing in the disliked circumstance(s).
This goes for everyone, including this writer.
The fight against crime must begin with education. (Academic and social.) Correcting the criminal mind set of prisoners requires intensive emotive/psychotherapy, in a stable healthy environment. Of course; love, support, and encouragement from family and friends would contribute to progress as well.
Unfortunately, the prison system is not designed to facilitate any of the above. Prisoners must achieve moral, emotional, and psychological readjustment by themselves in the absence of adequate guidance and resources. Most of them are thereby doomed to recidivism because they lack the intellectual capacity and/or the rational perspective requisite to even comprehend the task and their need to accomplish it.
It is then the responsibility of the public to see to it that our elected officials move to address the social diseases that breed criminals, and the needs of prisoners before they are released into society to victimize again.
That next victim could be yourself.