Research Article Analysis - Sample Essay

In “An Empirical Exploration of the ‘‘Pains of Imprisonment’’ and the Level of Prison Misconduct and Violence” by Ann Marie Rocheleau describes Pains of Imprisonment as deprivations prisoners encounter in prison as very difficult to handle. Skye (1958) The Society of Captives from which the research of Ann grew from described pains of involvement as the deprivations prisoners encounter in prison. Skye case study was conducted in the maximum prison of New Jersey.

Ann Marie Rocheleau continues to state that prison difficulties leads to prisoners behaviors. This author continues to argue that these behaviors are linked with the involvement in violence and serious prison misconduct. Ann also continues to suggest that prisoners who have safety concerns, difficulties in dealing with boredom, and those who avoid conflicts with staff could be at a more risk of serious violence and misconduct. As a two year researcher, I ought to state that I find Ann Marie Rocheleau opinions intelligent, compelling, and perhaps most notably well worth following.

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Ann Marie Rocheleau explanation of the safety concerns, difficulties in dealing with boredom, and those who avoid conflicts with staff could be at a more risk of serious violence and misconduct is a huge contributor to pains of imprisonment. First and foremost, pains in prison are an aspect that never lack in all prisons. The aspect of extensive pains is a fact that tends to have negative effects to the prisoners. Prison life is meant to be a guide to correction, but the hard life faced behind these walls turns many prisoners to cold and hard hearted people.

Ann claims that violence and serious prison misconduct that prisoners face, is what makes them gain the behaviors where they subject their fellow prisoners to a lot of pain. Ann continues further to state that the longer the time spent in prison, the more these behaviors grow. Of course, there has been a dramatic change in prisons since 1958 due to the increase in incarceration and crime, technology changes, and the wavering political philosophies that continually tinker with prison programming and policies.

Skype noted that the very difficult deprivations for prisoners included autonomy, freedom, goods, services, security, and the absence of heterosexual relationships. Some other studies conducted tried to focus on prisoners’ deprivation and found that aspects like future concerns past regrets, and boredom also led to deprivation (Irwin, 2006; Johnson, 2002; Johnson & McGunigall-Smith, 2008). Skye in his research said that these behaviors are attributed to follow two main paths. These paths included collectivistic and individualist.

Collectivistic path is where prisoners bound themselves with the other prisoners by using mutual support ties, respect, loyalty, and also prison administration opposition. Individualistic path is where prisoners decide to walk alone by exploiting the others and eschewing administration rules altogether. Johnson (2002), and Skye (1958) stated that violence and serious prison misconduct like assaults, escapes, fighting, drug trafficking, and threatening create a lot of personal costs for individuals associated and high political and monetary costs for prisons.

Skype’s research made assumptions that all prisoners face various hardships associated with prison. There are other researchers, who have done numerous studies regarding pain of imprisonment like (MacKenzie & Goodstein, 1986; Maitland &Sluder, 1998; Zamble & Porporino, 1988) who referred to them as prison stress, prison hardships, or strains.

A study conducted by Maitland and Sluder (1998) regarding victimization showed that there were various problems that prisoners faced and they include missing friends and family, lack of privacy, lack of better facilities, missing certain activities, excessive noise, boredom, missing personal belonging, and missing freedom. That study concluded by saying that these individuals experienced severely pains of imprisonment and was not that psychologically health. (MacKenzie & Goodstein, 1986; Maitland & Sluder, 1998; Zamble & Porporino, 1988) have also conducted numerous studies regarding confinement conditions by looking at prison stress and prison scales creation, victimization scales fear, conflict with administration staff and other prisoners, and several perceptual actions regarding confinement conditions.

During their longitudinal research of prisoners coping, (Zamble & Porporino, 1988), identified that prisoners were reliable in their explanation of the prison problems they face at the beginning, and more than a year during their prison sentence.

The “An Empirical Exploration of the ‘‘Pains of Imprisonment’’ and the Level of Prison Misconduct and Violence” by Ann Marie Rocheleau decided to undertake its study regarding pains of involvement. The study wanted to continue the exploration that Skye had started regarding pains of involvement. This study wanted to find out if the pains of imprisonment and further prison hardship had any impact or were associated with the connection to violence and serious misconduct. This study comprised prisoners’ valuations regarding prison hardships to a sample study of 312 prisoners comprised in maximum and medium security facilities. This research was carried out on a stratified random sampling method of the 312 prisoners, from the Rhode Island Department of Correction.

This essay was also determined to study the pain of imprisonment, if it existed, and its contribution to violence or serious misconduct so that prison staffs can evaluate the possibility of moderating some of these suffering, in the least, aiding prisoners to better survive with them, eventually increasing the security and safety of the prisons.
This research used the quantitative research design. A quantitative design implies a formal, systematic, objective procedure for gaining information about the world. This is a method meant for describing, testing relationships, and examination of causes and effects on relationships. This research used various methods to find and analyze its data. Some of the information used was meant to be a tribute to Skye as his explanations and concepts were applied in the study.

The target population of the study was male prisoners, who had attained the age of 18 years and above residing in the maximum and medium facilities and the RIDC. The target sample population was stratified to two clusters, based on if or not they have been found guilty in relation to a Class I highest or Non-predatory disciplinary book. Class I includes mayhem, hostage taking, escapes, assault and battery, arson, and making threats. Class I highest prisoners and Non-predatory report involved a smaller proportion the group was oversampled. Later after stratifying the population, a group of about 300 prisoners was created. The use of oversampling is very important when the group under study is less than the normal proportion. The pain of imprisonment, which was the independent variable, was evaluated using the 19 Likert-type scale questions, which has a relation to prison experience.

The analysis of the reports received in 2008 and 2009 indicated an extensive range of misconduct between prisoners associated with the sample. The results also portrayed that the major issues that they deal and confront in prison was lack of privacy, missing freedom, and missing family. Another 40 % stated that the quality of food and medical care was also hard to deal with. About half of the prisoners stated that they had regrets regarding their past and their future concerns. Missing activities, lack of autonomy, boredom, and facility cleanliness were rated to be very difficult by a third of the correspondents. However, as explained by Skye, pain of imprisonment was accelerated by missing freedom as the major factor.

The research goes ahead to offer a recommendation saying that prisons needs to address the misconduct connected with boredom by aiding to fill prisoners’ days with activities that are constructive like education, work, treatment programming, and some other prison activities. This recommendation was one that had been given by the safety and abuse commission in American prison as a way of preventing violence (Gibbons & Katzenbach, 2006). Particularly, the commission recommended productivity and rehabilitation promotion and that prisons needs to invest in programs proven to lessen violence and in the long run change their behaviors (Gibbons & Katzenbach, 2006).
Strengths and weakness

This research has some various strengths, which has made it very strong in its explanation of its problem study. The research was very strong in its explanation of the pains of imprisonment and it has given the reader the factors that prisoners face in prison. This research has also gone ahead to clearly point out all those factors associated with pains of imprisonment. The research has, however, a weakness despite the fact that it has swiftly elaborated its ideas. The research goes ahead to state the ways of avoiding boredom, whereas in its results, it found out that missing freedom is the main cause of pain of imprisonment. The author could have explained how to avoid missing freedom as it was the main factor in the study.

In conclusion, the study by Ann Marie Rocheleau is very vital for prison administration, the government, and the general public. This is because it explains the hardships faced by prisoners an aspect that can teach those outside to behave well to avoid this place. This research has also gone ahead to explain what pain of imprisonment are and which factors involve them. These factors make it significant for prison administration to come up with policies to curb violence and misconduct.


  • Gibbons, J. J., & de Katzenbach, N. B. (2006). Confronting confinement: A report of the commission on safety and abuse in America’s prisons. New York, NY: Vera Institute of Justice.
  • Irwin, J. (2006). The warehouse prison: Disposal of the new dangerous class. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
  • Johnson, R. (2002). Hard time: Understanding and reforming the prison (3rd ed). Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole.
  • Johnson, R., & McGunigall-Smith, S. (2008). Life without parole, America’s other death penalty: Notes on life under sentence of death by incarceration. The Prison Journal, 88, 328–346.


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