Arcaro, Thomas E.
February 1984
Humanity & Society;Feb84, Vol. 8 Issue 1, p73
Academic Journal
The article presents the author's experience as a teacher in a correctional institute for women. He was offered the opportunity to teach an Introduction to Psychology course to a class at the Midwest Reformatory for women. He imagined his students would be bitter and cold prostitutes, junkies, and murderers. Teaching in a correctional institution is an extremely intense experience for many reasons. The course fascinated most of the women. Here finally they would have a source of information about a part of the criminal justice system to which they all had had exposure, namely the psychological testing done in the early stages of incarceration. They thirsted for answers to a multitude of questions. By examining the moral career of the inmate one begins to see those behind the walls and fences as victims as well as criminals. The inmates thought that it was important to inform as many people as possible what being in prison did to them, and that in some way this would make people in general more sensitive. Some people would reconsider completely the nature and purpose of the entire penal system.


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