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Other harmful effects of imprisonment

Adopted from the book: "The rights of prisoners according to Islamic teachings" by: "Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Shirazi"

Imprisonment could cause other personal and social harms that are interlinked to each other. For example since a significant majority of the prison inmates are young, a generation will be brought up with violence, crime, corruption and this could be very damaging to society as a whole.

There are also administrative and financial costs to imprisonment such as:

the time, money, and effort wasted in managing a prison system, the inflation of government's bureaucracy for managing it, the fact that most of those who go to prison are from the poor, since the rich, firstly do not usually need to engage in such criminal activities such as theft, and secondly, if they are sentenced to a prison sentence, they usually manage to buy their way out of prison. Therefore the prison is an additional means of oppression upon the poor; for the society brought about his poverty in the first place and then imprisoned him!

In addition to the harms of prison cited above, there is the time wasted by the relatives of the prisoner to visit him and the effort involved in this process, whereas they could spend that time and effort for the good of the community. Of course the list for the harmful consequences goes on, which would make a massive book if we were to go into details.

Therefore all such issues must be taken into account when considering the need for imprisonment, and the latter should only be taken up when in absolute emergency and no better alternative is available.

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