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Prison wire
What Does It Mean When Someone Is Sentenced To Life In Prison?
History - Science
When a person gets sentenced to life in prison, they are likely to be subjected to harsh conditions, dark temptations, desperate coping mechanisms, and little chance of parole.
Prison Writers provides a platform for convicts to share their stories. One convict, Leonard Scovens, wrote about the psychological toll a life sentence takes from the onset.
He said, "I spent the first few years ... muttering incoherently to myself and chewing my fingernails to bleeding nubs while I contemplated the most painless methods of suicide."
Scovens described the coping mechanisms of older inmates sentenced to life: religion, drugs, imaginary friends, trading sex for privileges, or accepting a criminal lifestyle.
Convict Quentin Jones described life sentences as "death by incarceration." Meditation and music were his tools for enduring his sentence, but incarceration left its mark.
The hard beds ruined Jones' back, sharing a cell with seven other men reminded him of slavery, and the fear — and likely reality — of dying in prison was an ever-looming specter.
Incarcerated people serving life sentences in the U.S. are also unlikely to be granted parole. 83% of worldwide convicted felons without the possibility of parole are in the U.S.