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Criminology . Critical criminology - Essay Example

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Many films represent prisons as brutal and uncivilised places that punish, humiliate and degrade; therefore, such construction of the penal system often suggests a discourse of reform. Exploration of futility and inhumanity of incarceration visible in prison films present opportunity for raising the profile of public debate that mobilises opinion toward reform and elimination prison industrial complex. However, in these films, scenes of brutality, death and rape exist for the pleasure of the spectators, which is a generic feature in prison films. These acts are present in narratives across prison films with exploitative agenda where violence, rape and other assaults are the most prominent features. Prison is habitually constructed in a discourse of violence and fear where films define prison through its capability for brutality and ability to instil terror. A viewer experiences initial steps in a prison from the standpoint of a new convicted prisoner who is processed through the system. Construction of the penal state reinforces prison as a fundamental element in the criminal justice system (Mason, 2006). Prison films mostly involve a prisoner who usually has been convicted recently, thus, prison life is experienced through an individual who entered the penal system. Systematic depiction of prisoner offers an opportunity for prison films to investigate injustice and cruelty of incarceration. Through an innocent, harshly treated man or woman, the penal system can be exposed although this ostensibly appears to be in the prison discourse, which is achieved through representing the prison population as dehumanised animals and monsters (Greer and Jewkes, 2005). Prison hero/heroine is often an afforded character with the rest being cut out cliche thus prison is depicted as essential to keep psychotic deviants caged and incapacitated. Nevertheless, despite the emphatic portrayal of several prisoners, the meaning of prison is often portrayed around danger and fear, which inevitably underscores the apparent necessity of prison’s existence. By fixing prisoners, appearances as well as differences to prison hero/heroine lead to the construction of pro-prison discourse. However, prison is often depicted as dangerous, morally deprived and away from redemption; it remains to be the only institution accomplished to offer a solution. Depiction of heroic, often innocent prisoner seems to present the possibility of abolitionist discourse however; this opportunity is used for the reverse. Genealogy of prison discourse articulated by prison films suggests emphasis on prison violence and depiction of prisoners as inhuman in commonplaces (Mason, 2006). The principal reason regarding the consistency and durability of the discourse of prison is commercial viability. Commoditization of entertainment in post-war western cinema led to the consideration of formal conventions in Hollywood movies and external social and cultural pressures, which regulate movies as products of mass production and distribution. Prison films compared to other genres has reduced prison narratives and themes to just a handful with violence and brutality being the key ones. Consequently, prison violence is part of media representation practice that construes prison population to be ...Show more
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Summary

Q.1 Critical analysis of prison films revolves around two elements first being the graphic exploitation of violence and sexual assault in prison films which are predominantly depicted voyeuristically thus remain severed from any meaningful context; therefore, suitable for entertainment to the viewer…
Criminology . Critical criminology
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