What must be remembered about this experiment is that these people were college students. This prison started to seem very real to them. They were treated exactly how a real inmate would be treated. They stripped them naked and sprayed them with delousing spray. They were chained by their ankles and were required to stay in their cells. Very quickly the guards decided to show their dominance of the inmates. They began to publicly humiliate them and sexually embarrass them. They made the inmates do terrible things, like making them do sexually embarrassing things to each other. There was a slight rebellion from the inmates and the guards locked the leader of the rebellion in a closet.
After only a few days of this experiment, the inmates started to forget it was an experiment and began to believe they were really in a prison. Some even had to be let go early because of mental stability, and the others would be crying all the way through the night. The guards on the other hand were enjoying the way they treated the prisoners and believed that the prisoners were lesser human beings. The two week experiment was cut short by Zimbardo, it had only lasted six days. If this kind of thing was to happen with college students in a volunteer operation, what is it really like in a real prison? Something very similar happened in Abu Ghraib a number of years ago. American soldiers did terrible and sexually embarrassing things to Iraqi inmates. This caught a lot of media coverage and the soldiers were found guilty in trial. Zimbardo actually took the stand to defend the soldiers, saying that good people get corrupted by bad situations, and that we all would have done the same thing. The jury thought that was not a good enough reason and convicted the soldiers. Do good people really get corrupted by these bad situations? If we are to become corrections officers, how do we avoid this and make sure it does not corrupt us as well? We must always know that the inmates are real people and they must be treated fairly. We cannot let the bad situation corrupt us.