What the Stanford Prison Experiment shows is that “‘good people are not enough'” to prevent abusive excess, [says experiment-lead Professor Philip Zimbardo]. ‘Individual differences matter very little in the face of an extreme situation. . . . Institutional settings develop a life of their own independent of the wishes and intentions and purposes of those who run them.'”
It comes down to the fundamental question of what is the purpose of prison? Is its purpose correctional, or punitive? If a prison sentence is intended to rehabilitate the convict, then why do we allow them to become dehumanized and exposed to danger? Can a man who’s been ass-raped, beaten, and starved ever rejoin society as a fully-functioning member?