Jail: An Unsung University Elevating the Spirits of Notorious Criminals

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10 Jul 24
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by Atul Malikram, Writer and Political Strategist

Jail: An Unsung University Elevating the Spirits of Notorious Criminals

Prisons are unique universities that impart lessons unimaginable to most of us. If one were to say that prison increases the hunger for life, it wouldn't be far from the truth. Every inmate hungers for everything. IPS Dinesh MN, who spent seven years in prison, shares that the activities of a criminal are unlawful and morally wrong, not just by societal standards but also by constitutional and community norms. Neighbors and often family members also turn their backs on criminals. No matter the crime, society seldom offers redemption or forgiveness.

Despite this, how does a well-known, influential inmate feel empowered? What is the source of their strength? It turns out that their greatest confidence lies in the belief that they will not be punished, even if they have committed numerous murders. This poses a question: if severe punishments like hanging or life imprisonment were guaranteed for the first murder, why would they continue committing crimes?

This phenomenon is particularly common among prominent criminals who believe they can manage everything from the police to the courts due to their wealth. Their gang members are ready to kill at a signal, relying completely on the terror and fear they instill. This terror acts as an investment for them. For a murderer, maintaining this fear is essential. Most crucially, these criminals often receive political support, bolstering their confidence.

Yet, viewing prison as an unsung university, the time spent behind bars teaches a criminal many things. They understand how society views them and learn to navigate this perception. The years in prison prepare them for the outside world, making them potentially more dangerous. They grasp how to use their fear and terror to maintain power and how political backing can strengthen their position.

Prison, therefore, is not only a place of punishment but also a potent institution that makes criminals shrewder, more cunning, and resilient. The challenge for society lies in transforming this 'university' into a center for genuine reform. Many inmates learn vital life skills in prison, which they can use positively, while others misuse this maturity for further criminal activities. A deeper consideration of how to break this cycle and reintegrate prisoners into mainstream society is crucial.

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