Theoretical Studies in Social Organization of the Prison

Theoretical Studies in Social Organization of the Prison

Theoretical Studies in Social Organization of the Prison

Theoretical Studies in Social Organization of the Prison

Excerpt

This volume is the work of a Conference Group on Correctional Organization, which met under the sponsorship of the Social Science Research Council at intervals during 1956 and in the spring of 1957. The original idea of holding these meetings came from Frank E. Hartung of Wayne State University, who served as chairman of bimonthly meetings of the conference group. The procedure included more than general discussion of problems of correctional organization; at each meeting a research project in which a member had engaged was presented to the group as the focus of discussion. A stimulating exchange of ideas was thus combined with critical examination of particular subjects of research. With these topics as foci, the conference group tended to concentrate on intensive scrutiny of a few areas rather than a survey of all the problems of prison organization. The papers originally presented by the members of the group do not appear in this volume. What is contained here is the precipitate of the original reports modified by discussion and criticism, so that a more unified approach emerges.

The conference group was composed of seven persons who shared an interest in research on the correctional system; although working in several different academic disciplines, all were willing to explore each other's frames of reference and utilize a variety of conceptual formulations. They were all interested in examining their field from the point of view of social scientists concerned with the theory of social organization and with analyzing the operation of specific social systems. While difficulties in communication arose on occasion, the work of the group can be considered a successful attempt at interdisciplinary cooperation.

The members of the conference group, cognizant of the value of this intellectual experience both for their own research and for the development of working relationships with others in the same field, gratefully acknowledge the support and cooperation of the Social Science Research Council. Members of the group are especially appreciative of the efforts of George H. Grosser who undertook the task of assembling, coordinating, and cross-referencing the contributions of the authors.

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