The following data was collected through the distribution of questionnaires to a prison in Suffolk. The sample taken was that of 50 inmates, 20 prison officers and the Governor of the prison. The information received was collated, analysed and displayed through graphs. As there was only one set of responses from the Governor it would be impractical to put the results in graphical form. Therefore I will highlight the result of his responses to questions....

The Governor sees the prison as a place that rehabilitates its inmates, and that they achieve this through offering education, leisure activities, job training and rehabilitation courses. He adds that prison has taught some inmates to behave, yet the current system is largely an ineffective one. He justifies this view by stating that in his own experience most criminals do Reoffending after they have been released.

When reviewing his response one cannot help but seeing a few contradictions. In one answer he states that prison rehabilitates the inmates, yet later he goes on to say that most criminals re offend?? He believes that the taking away of an individuals liberty is the ultimate punishment, yet those who are re convicted and end up back inside cant be that bothered. He does however admit that the prison system is an ineffective one, which is the key question within the questionnaire given. 

 Prison inmates: Interpreting results

72% of inmates said that they would not Reoffending upon their release from prison. 26% said that they did not know and only 2% said they definitely would.

42% of inmates felt that prison had taught them to behave in a  socially acceptable manner, compared to 44% who said that it had not.

When asked whether the loss of liberty had made them realise that crime was not the answer to their problems a staggering 89% stated that this was indeed the case.


 Prison staff: Interpreting results

80% of staff thought that prisons did not teach inmates how to behave, with only 5% arguing that it did.

59% of staff thought that imprisonment had a positive impact upon those in custody, compared to 41% who though it had the reverse effect.

64% of prison staff believed that those incarcerated would not re offend after release. Have they read the official statistics lately???

Whilst little can be drawn from the results gained one apparent theme is the faith displayed by both prison staff and the inmates they work with, whereby a large proportion of both groups felt that inmates would not Reoffending upon release. This is in stark contrast to the reality, that is that 2/3 of those released will commit further offences.

The public: Interpreting results

The question asked to 50 members of the public...'Does prison work?' Of those questioned 31 stated that it did not, compared to 9 who though that it did. Surprisingly 10 of those questioned stated that they didn't know!!

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