Prisonization: Individual and Institutional Factors Affecting Inmate Conduct

Prisonization: Individual and Institutional Factors Affecting Inmate Conduct

Prisonization: Individual and Institutional Factors Affecting Inmate Conduct

Prisonization: Individual and Institutional Factors Affecting Inmate Conduct

Synopsis

This study explores the social processes of institutional life, such as prisonization and general misconduct, from a multilevel perspective. According to the author, "an integrated theory of prisonization is developed that incorporates individual and contextual effects into one parsimonious design using multilevel data from over 1,000 inmates in 30 prisons across Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio." Gillespie teaches criminal justice and criminology at East Tennessee State University. Annotation (c)2003 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Excerpt

Prison is a context that exerts its influence upon the social relations of those who enter its domain. Clemmer (1940) was one of the first criminologists to recognize that the prison is a community replete with distinctive norms and folkways. Sykes (1958) proposed that inmates form a society of captives bound together by the extreme deprivations imposed upon them by the dominant sociocultural order. Garabedian (1963) suggested that inmates adopt unique social roles in order to function within the prison counterculture. Prisonization involves the extent to which prisoners adopt norms that are indicative of the inmate subculture, and it is the general social process to which these different researchers were referring. the antecedents of prisonization include both the deprivations that inmates encounter inside prison as well as the individual characteristics and differences imported from the outside (Thomas, 1971). Consequently, inmates may express this prisonized normative orientation through maladaptive behaviors such as self-mutilation, suicide, rebellion, and resistance (Matthews, 1999).

Just as the context of a neighborhood, community, or society shapes the interactions that develop therein, so too does the structure of a prison influence the social processes that occur inside. in particular, the antecedents of prisonization include both the individual traits of inmates and the contextual features of correctional institutions. For instance, inmates may encounter interpersonal problems inside prison that lead to prisonization. However, the structure or administration of a prison may present contextual or situational problems that also contribute to prisonization. Thus, the antecedents of prisonization operate at two levels of analysis: the individual (i.e., the micro-level) and the contextual (i.e., the macro-level).

The goal of the present study is to explore the social processes of institutional life, such as prisonization and general misconduct, from a multilevel perspective. the extent to which both the individual attributes of prisoners and the contextual features of prisons influence social processes on the inside is a key issue. in particular, an integrated theory of . . .

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