Chapter 11 The Prison Experience
The Prison Experience • Prison Society • Norms and Values • Prison Subculture: Deprivation or Importation? • Adaptive Roles • The Prison Economy • Violence in Prison • Violence and Inmate Characteristics • Prisoner-Prisoner Violence • Prisoner-Officer Violence • Officer-Prisoner Violence • Decreasing Prison Violence
“Inmate code” • a set of rules of conduct that reflect the values and norms of the prison social system and help to define (for inmates) the image of the “model” prisoner
“prisonization”(Donald Clemmer) • the process by which a new inmate absorbs the customs of prison society and learns to adapt to the prison environment
“degradationceremony” • a conspicuous ritual that is played out in various stages of the criminal justice process that is designed to degrade, dehumanize, & humiliate an individual. By design or effect, it informs an inmate/criminal that s/he is “outside” of & beneath society, that s/he is no longer regarded as honest, honorable, trustworthy, upright, & good.
adjusting to prison society values inmate “subculture” roles customs language
Gresham Sykes’ inmate code don’t interfere with inmate interests inmate code don’t trust the guards don’t quarrel with inmates don’t weaken; be tough don’t exploit inmates
inmate social system:prison roles ‘right guy’ upholder of inmate values ‘square John’ non-criminal self concept basic inmate roles ‘punk’ passive homosexual ‘rat’ squeals or sells out to authorities ‘hustler’ entrepreneur, supplies goods & services
Sexual Violence • The Myth: Because state prisons are filled with predatory, violent offenders who are deprived of heterosexual relationships, sexual violence happens with great regularity. • The Reality: In 2005, there were 1,865 allegations of inmate-on-inmate sexual violence in state prisons holding nearly 1.26 million inmates. Put differently, the rate of prisoner-prisoner sexual assault is approximately 1.5 attacks per 1,000 inmates.
how inmates “adapt” to prison “gleaning” exploit prison programs & opportunities; try to succeed doing time” prison = brief interruption in criminal career; stay comfortable “jailing” cut selves off from outside; develop a life, power, influence in prison; adaptive roles “disorganized criminal” can’t develop any of the other three roles; often disabled; cannot adjust to prison life; develops emotional disorders
Bases of inmate violence AGE youth, machismo, identity key factors ATTITUDE subculture of violence RACE convict code, gangs
causes of prison violence inadequate supervision by staff & inmate-staff relations high level of tension caused by close quarters main causes housing dangerous & nondangerous inmates together architectural design, including size & condition easy availability of deadly weapons
strategies for reducing violence in prison • improve classification • separate violence-prone inmates from others • create opportunities for fearful inmates to seek staff assistance • increase custody staff size, diversity, training • redesign facilities • improve surveillance; eliminate ‘blind spots’ • use smaller institutions • install grievance mechanisms or ombudsman • augment rewards system to reduce pains of imprisonment
“unit management” • organizational tactic for reducing prison violence by dividing facilities into a number of small, self-contained, semi-autonomous ‘institutions’