I agree that prison decks (I’m thinking of IG and Hot Tub) are not themselves a win condition, but your reaction of ‘how do they win if the runner sits back?’ does hint at the fundamental difference between these decks and any other corp deck: these corps can outlast the runner.
Very few runners can operate indefinitely, they all use cards to power some of what they do. Corp prison decks use MoH to recycle cards indefinitely, so there is little pressure for them to score early or ever. Some will score 2-4 points and try to wait out the runner (reverse Moby), but their default plan is not to score, but to wait, build their combo (either through board state or HQ operations), and flatline the runner.
In principle a FA variant could be made as well (and has, but it was less competitive than regular FA in most cases). I have encountered a few ‘prison glaciers’ on Jinteki, but the archetype does not lend itself to success (they fold easily to R&D multi-access while scoring very slowly). The kill variants have seen significant success thus far, and are fairly well known among the community.
At any rate, I think that overwhelmingly, most people who have played with and against these ‘prison’ decks would agree that they operate and are countered in a very different manner than any traditional decks. You don’t discuss interplay or countermeasures much in your article, which may be the main difference between what you are trying to write, and the discussion @hsiale and @pang4 are want to have.