Fights in prisons have became much more vicious in the last few years leading to an increase in violent fights. The reasons for this change are cause for reflection as parallels can be drawn for those with ordinary anger problems. Some the change are within the inmates control and some reflect the changing social mix.
There was s strict code of conduct once where inmates stood as one, respected an individual’s need to assert himself and didn’t interfere. It implied values that preserved as much good order as possible. Then violence was kept to a minimum as it was seen as a last resort. Today two thirds of prisoners are in for violence, and bring with them a new code of anything goes, also they are more isolated than before so there is no group norm. There is now a large racial mix, the offenders are younger and have a deep hate of authority often being raised by social welfare agencies. Many also have mental health and substance abuse issues.
Learning how to protect the self requires being aware of the downside when there is chaos. Battles in olden days were fought in designated areas, now everything spills over to everything, nothing is contained. In anger management clients feel isolated don’t share, don’t mix, feel their intimates and all of society are the enemy. The constant stress cause them to act against their own best interests as they come from a place of emotional impotence. Fight too much and never chose their battles.
Source: Toronto Star