Chapter 12 Prison Life. Learning Objectives. Describe the realities of prison life and subculture from the inmate’s point of view Explain the concept of prisonization Describe the realities of prison life from the correctional officer’s point of view Describe the causes of riots
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Learning Objectives • Describe the realities of prison life and subculture from the inmate’s point of view • Explain the concept of prisonization • Describe the realities of prison life from the correctional officer’s point of view • Describe the causes of riots • Explain the nature of the hands-off doctrine
Learning Objectives • Discuss the legal aspects of prisoners’ rights • Explain the balancing test established by the U.S. Supreme Court as it relates to prisoners’ rights • Explain state-created rights within the context of corrections • Describe the special problems and issues that prisons face today
American Prisons • For many years, prisons and prison life could be described by the phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” • Concerned citizens began to offer their services to prison administrators and social scientists initiated a serious study of prison life. • Hear author discuss the chapter.
Research on Prison Life: Total Institutions • Any group with similar characteristics, subject to confinement in the same place at the same time, develops its own subculture with specific components that govern hierarchy, behavioral patterns, values, and so on. • Library Extra 12-1
Research on Prison Life: Total Institutions • Total institution refers to: • A total institution is a small society. An enclosed facility separate from society both socially and physically, where the inhabitants share all aspects of their daily lives.
The Male Inmate’s World • Prison subculture refers to: • Prisonization refers to: • Library Extra 12-2 • Web Extra 12-1 The values and behavioral patterns characteristic of prison inmates. Prison subculture has been found to be surprisingly consistent across the country. The process whereby newly institutionalized offenders come to accepts prison lifestyles and criminal values.
The Male Inmate’s World • Five elements of the prison code: • Don’t interfere with the interests of other inmates. Never rat on a con. • Don’t lose your head. Play it cool and do your own time. • Don’t exploit inmates. Don’t steal. Don’t break your word. Be right. • Don’t whine. Be a man. • Don’t be a sucker. Don’t trust the guards or staff.
The Functions of Prison Subcultures • Deprivation model • Prison subcultures are fundamentally an adaptation to deprivation and confinement. • They are a way of addressing the psychological, social, physical, and sexual needs of prisoners. • The pains of imprisonment: • The frustrations induced by the rigors of confinement.
The Functions of Prison Subcultures • Importation model • Inmates bring with them values, roles, and behavior patterns from the outside world. • When these offenders are confined, these external elements shape the social world of inmates. • Web Extra 12-2
The Functions of Prison Subcultures • Prison society could be described in terms of:
Prison Lifestyles and Inmate Types • Inmates are able to express some individuality through the choice of a prison lifestyle.
Homosexuality in Prison • Homosexual behavior inside prisons is both constrained and encouraged by prison subculture. • Prison homosexuality depends to a considerable degree on the naiveté of young inmates experiencing prison for the first time.
Homosexuality in Prison • Most sexual aggressors do not consider themselves to be homosexuals. • Sexual release is not the primary motivation for sexual attack. • Many aggressors must continue to participate in gang rapes to avoid becoming victims themselves. • The aggressors have themselves suffered much damage to their masculinity in the past. • Library Extra 12-3
The Female Inmate’s World • Most prisons for women are located in towns with fewer than 25,000 inhabitants. • A significant number of facilities were not designed to house female inmates. • The number of female offenders being sent to prison is rising. • Most facilities that house female inmates also house men. • Few facilities for women have programs especially designed for female offenders.
The Female Inmate’s World • Few major disturbances or escapes are reported among female inmates. • Substance abuse among female inmates is very high. • Few work assignments are available to female inmates. • The number of female inmates without a high school education is very high.
Social Structure in Women’s Prisons • Female inmates often construct pseudofamilies. • 71% of female prisoners are involved in the phenomenon. • Other researchers have found no such patterns. • Sexual misconduct between staff and inmates is far more commonly found in women’s prisons than in prisons for men.
Types of Female Inmates • The subculture of women’s prisons is multidimensional. • “Square” inmates have few earlier criminal experiences. • “Cool” prisoners are more likely to be career criminals. They tend to keep to themselves. • “Lifers” are familiar with lives of crime. They are full participants in prison culture.
Violence in Women’s Prisons • Violence in women’s prisons tends to be used only to settle questions of dominance and subordination. • Much abuse is also at the hands of correctional staff. • Library Extras 12-4 and 12-5
Violence in Women’s Prisons • Task Force on the Female Offender recommended: • Substance-abuse programs should be available to female inmates. • Female inmates need to acquire greater literacy skills. • Female offenders should be housed in buildings without male inmates. • Institutions for women should develop programs for keeping children in the facility. • To ensure equal access to assistance, institutions should be built to accommodate programs for female offenders.
The Staff World • Approximately 350,000 employees • Like prisoners, correctional officers undergo a socialization process that helps them function by the official and unofficial rules of staff society. • One of the leading formative influences of staff culture is the potential threat that inmates pose.
Professionalization of Correctional Officers • Correctional officers have low occupational status. • Historically, it required little education and few advancement opportunities. • Growing legal liability has become an issue. • There are current efforts to increase the professionalization of the occupation. • Job training • Psychological screening
Prison Riots • Causes of Riots • An insensitive prison administration and neglected inmates’ demands • The lifestyles most inmates are familiar with on the streets • Dehumanizing prison conditions • To regulate inmate society and redistribute power balances among inmate groups • “Power vacuums” created by major changes within the formal or informal prison structure
Stages in Riots and Riot Control • Prison riots tend to evolve through five phases: • Explosion • Organization into inmate-led groups • Confrontation with authority • Termination through negotiation or physical confrontation • Reaction and explanation, usually by investigative commissions
Prisoners’ Rights • Before the 1960s, American courts had taken a noninterventionist approach toward the running of prisons, known as the hands-off doctrine. • This was premised on the belief that defendants lost most of their rights upon conviction, known as civil death. • There is now evidence that a new hands-off era is approaching.
The Conditional Rights of Inmates:Religious Freedom • A right of assembly for religious services and groups • A right to attend services of other religious groups • A right to receive visits from ministers • A right to correspond with religious leaders • A right to observe religious dietary laws • A right to wear religious insignia
The Conditional Rights of Inmates:Freedom of Speech • A right to meet with members of the press • A right to receive publications directly from the publisher • A right to communicate with nonprisoners
The Conditional Rights of Inmates:Access to Legal Assistance • A right to have access to the courts • A right to visits from attorneys • A right to have mail communications from lawyers • A right to communicate with legal assistance organizations • A right to consult “jailhouse lawyers” • A right to assistance in filing legal papers
The Conditional Rights of Inmates:Medical Treatment • A right to sanitary and healthy conditions • A right to medical attention for serious physical problems • A right to required medications • A right to treatment in accordance with “doctor’s orders”
Medical Care • Deliberate indifference refers to: • A wanton disregard by correctional personnel for the well-being of inmates. • Deliberate indifference requires both actual knowledge that a harm is occurring and disregard of the risk of harm. • It is an Eighth Amendment violation.
The Conditional Rights of Inmates:Protection • A right to food, water, and shelter • A right to protection from foreseeable attack • A right to protection from predictable sexual abuse • A right to protection against suicide
The Conditional Rights of Inmates:Institutional Punishment and Discipline • An absolute right against corporal punishments, unless sentenced to such punishments. • A limited right to due process before punishment: • Notice of charges • A fair and impartial hearing • An opportunity for defense • A right to present witnesses • A written decision
A Return to the Hands-Off Doctrine? • Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996: • Requires inmates to exhaust their prison’s grievance procedure before filing a lawsuit. • Requires a judicial screening and dismissal for all frivolous complaints against the federal government. • Prohibits prisoners from filing a lawsuit for mental or emotional injury unless they can also show there has been physical injury.
A Return to the Hands-Off Doctrine? • Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996: • Limits the award of attorneys’ fees in successful lawsuits brought by inmates. • Revokes the early release credits earned by federal prisoners for filing a malicious lawsuit. • Mandates that court orders affecting prison administration cannot go any further than necessary to correct a violation of a particular inmate’s civil rights.
A Return to the Hands-Off Doctrine? • Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996: • Makes it possible for state officials to have court orders lifted after two years unless there is a new finding of a continuing violation of federally guaranteed civil rights. • Mandates that any court order requiring the release of prisoners due to overcrowding be approved by a three-member court before it can become effective. • Requires inmates to pay court filing fees.
Issues Facing Prisons Today • Aids • Library Extras 12-6 and 12-7 • Geriatric Offenders • Web Extras 12-3 and 12-4 • Mentally Ill Inmates • Web Extra 12-5 • Terrorism • Web Extra 12-6 • Library Extra 12-8