Chat with us, powered by LiveChat What are prison subcultures, and how do they influence prison life? How do they develop, and what purpose do they serve? | EssayAbode

What are prison subcultures, and how do they influence prison life? How do they develop, and what purpose do they serve?

 What are prison subcultures, and how do they influence prison life? How do they develop, and what purpose do they serve?

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Criminal Justice: A Brief Introduction

Thirteenth Edition

Chapter 12 Prison Life

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Research on Prison Life: Total Institutions

• Total institution – An enclosed facility socially and physically

separated from society, where inhabitants share all aspects of their daily lives

– Facilities (prisons, mental hospitals, seminaries, etc.) where residents are cut off from the larger society

• Total institutions develop their own distinctive values and styles of life and pressure residents to fulfill rigidly prescribed behavioral roles

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The Male Inmate’s World (1 of 2)

• Two social realities coexist in prisons – The official structure of rules and procedures enforced

by prison staff – The more informal inmate world controlled by the

prison subculture

• Prison subculture – The values and behavioral patterns characteristic of

prison inmates – Surprisingly consistent across the country

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The Male Inmate’s World (2 of 2)

• Prisonization – The process whereby newly institutionalized offenders

come to accept prison lifestyles and criminal values – Socialization turns new inmates into “cons”

• Aspects of common inmate culture shared among different prisons

• Prison argot (jargon)—terms used in one institution are generally understood in others

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The Evolution of Prison Subcultures

• Prison subcultures change constantly

• Evolve to reflect the concerns and experiences of the wider culture

– React to new crime-control strategies – Embrace novel opportunities for crime

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The Functions of Prison Subcultures (1 of 2)

• Deprivation model views prison subcultures as an adaptation to deprivation and confinement

• Prisoners are deprived of: – Liberty – Goods and services – Heterosexual relationships – Autonomy

– Personal security

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The Functions of Prison Subcultures (2 of 2)

• Importation model – Inmates bring with them values, roles, and behavior

patterns from the outside world

• The social structure of the prison is another element that shapes prison subculture

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Prison Lifestyles and Inmate Types (1 of 2)

• The mean dude

• The hedonist

• The opportunist

• The retreatist

• The legalist

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Prison Lifestyles and Inmate Types (2 of 2)

• The radical

• The colonizer

• The religious

• The gangbanger

• The realist

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Homosexuality and Sexual Victimization in Prison (1 of 2)

• Sexual behavior inside prisons is both constrained and encouraged by prison subculture

• Prison homosexuality depends on the naiveté of young first-time inmates

• Prison Rape Elimination Act (P R E A) mandates collection of statistics on prison rape

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Homosexuality and Sexual Victimization in Prison (2 of 2)

• Key observations about sexual violence in prison – Most sexual aggressors do not consider themselves

homosexuals – Sexual release is not the primary motivation

– Many aggressors must continue to participate in gang rapes to avoid becoming victims themselves

– Aggressors have suffered damage to their masculinity in the past

• Sexual assaults in prison leave psychological scars

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The Female Inmate’s World (1 of 2)

• Women account for 7% of all prison inmates, and the number of female inmates is rising

• Growth rate for female imprisonment has outpaced men

• Women in prison represent a population marginalized by race, class and gender

– Black women overrepresented in correctional populations

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The Female Inmate’s World (2 of 2)

• Women face life circumstances that tend to be specific to their gender

• Female inmates differ from male inmates regarding personal histories and pathways to crime

– Women’s most common pathways to crime involve survival strategies resulting from physical and sexual abuse, poverty, and substance abuse

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Figure 12.1 The Increase in Women’s Incarceration

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Table 12.1 National Profile of Female Offenders

A profile based on national data for female offenders reveals the following characteristics:

• Disproportionately women of color

• In their early to middle 30s

• Most likely to have been convicted of a drug-related offense

• From fragmented families that include other family members who also have been involved with the criminal justice system

• Survivors of physical and/or sexual abuse as children and adults

• Individuals with significant substance-abuse problems

• Individuals with multiple physical and mental health problems

• Unmarried mothers of minor children

• Individuals with a high school or general equivalency diploma (G E D) but limited vocational training and sporadic work histories

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Figure 12.2 Women State Prison Inmates: Features and Characteristics

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Figure 12.3 Offenses Committed by Men and Women in State Prisons

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Sexual Victimization of Women Prisoners

• Sexual victimization of women does not always end with their admission to prison

• Alabama’s Julia Tutwiler Prison for Women – Rampant sexual abuse – Inmates routinely abused by prison staff

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Figure 12.4 Women State Prison Inmates: Physical and Sexual Abuse History

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Parents in Prison (1 of 3)

• 80% of women entering prison are mothers, 85% of them had custody at the time of admission

• 25% of women entering prison are pregnant or recently gave birth

• Over 1.7 million American children (1 out of every 43 children) have a parent in prison

– 1 out of 111 white children – 1 out of 15 black children

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Parents in Prison (2 of 3)

• Over half the children of female prisoners never visit their mothers in prison

• Reasons for lack of visits include – Remote locations of prisons – Lack of transportation – Inability of caregivers to arrange visitation

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Parents in Prison (3 of 3)

• Trauma of parent in prison is similar to that of losing a parent to death or divorce

• Separation is also a significant deprivation for many parents

• Some states have parenting programs for female inmates with children

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Gender-Responsiveness (1 of 2)

• Involves understanding and taking account of the differences in characteristics and life experiences women and men bring to the criminal justice system

• Adjusting strategies and practices in ways that appropriate respond to those conditions

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Gender-Responsiveness (2 of 2)

• N I C report recommendations – Create an effective system for female offenders

structured differently from a system for male offenders – Develop gender-responsive policies and practices

– Modify sanctions to recognize the low risk to public safety represented by the typical female offender

– Consider women’s relationships, especially with children, in deciding appropriate sanctions

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Institutions for Women

• Most located in small towns

• Many not designed for female inmates

• Some also house men

• Few have programs designed for female inmates

• Few major disturbances or escapes reported

• Substance abuse among female inmates very high

• Few work assignments available

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Social Structure in Women’s Prisons (1 of 2)

• Female prisoners are likely to be black or Hispanic, poor, uneducated, abuse survivors, single parents, in poor health

• Female inmates construct organized pseudofamilies

• Incarcerated women suffer intensely from loss of affectional relationships—form homosexual liaisons to compensate

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Social Structure in Women’s Prisons (2 of 2)

• Prison culture for women tied to – Roles they assume in free society – Other factors shaped by conditions of women’s lives in

prison and in free world

• Rate of inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization at least three times higher for females than for males

• Sexual misconduct between staff and inmates more common in women’s prisons

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Types of Female Inmates (1 of 2)

• Square – Few early experiences with criminal lifestyles – Tend to sympathize with the values and attitudes of

conventional society

• Cool – More likely to be career offenders – Tend to keep to themselves, support inmate values

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Types of Female Inmates (2 of 2)

• Life – Familiar with lives of crime, had repeated arrests – Full participants in economic, social, and familial

arrangements of the prison

• Social structure recently altered by “crack kids” – Streetwise young women with little respect for

traditional prison values, for their elders, or even their own children

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Violence in Women’s Prisons (1 of 2)

• Less frequent than in male prisons

• Few lesbian liaisons are forced

• Sexual violence may be a form of revenge for those who vocally condemn lesbian practices among inmates

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Violence in Women’s Prisons (2 of 2)

• Task Force on the Female Offender recommendations – Substance abuse programs for female inmates – Literacy programs

– House female offenders in buildings without male inmates

– Programs for keeping children in the facility

– Build institutions to accommodate programs for female offenders

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The Staff World (1 of 2)

• Approximately 785,000 people employed in corrections

• Majority are correctional officers who perform direct custodial tasks

– 70% are white, 22% black, 5% Hispanic – 20% of corrections officers are female

• Corrections officers are at the bottom of the staff hierarchy

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The Staff World (2 of 2)

• Corrections officers are socialized into the prison work world

• Formative influence on staff culture is the potential threat that inmates pose

• Prison staffers most concerned with custody and control

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The Professionalization of Corrections Officers

• Correctional officers traditionally have low occupational status

• Are becoming better trained and more proficient – American Correctional Association code of ethics – Psychological screening of candidates – Training programs

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Security Threat Groups and Prison Riots (1 of 2)

• 1970–1980—the “explosive decade” of prison riots

• Riots decreased after this point but did continue

• Riots are difficult to predict in specific institutions but some state prison systems appear ripe for disorder

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Security Threat Groups and Prison Riots (2 of 2)

• Security threat groups (S T G) – An inmate group, gang, or organization whose

members act together to pose a threat to the safety of corrections staff or the public, who prey on other inmates, or who threaten the secure and orderly operation of a correctional institution

• Turf violations among S T G s can lead to widespread disorder

• Reach extends far beyond prison walls

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Prisoners’ Rights

• Hands-off doctrine – Nonintervention policy regarding prison management

that courts tended to follow until the late 1960s – Based on belief that defendants suffer civil death upon

conviction, losing most of their rights

• Ended in 1970 when a federal court declared the entire Arkansas prison system unconstitutional

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The Legal Basis of Prisoners’ Rights (1 of 2)

• Balancing Test (Pell v. Procunier, 1974) – Weighs rights of individual against the state’s authority

to make laws or otherwise restrict a person’s freedom to protect the state’s interest and its citizens

• Question of individual rights vs. public order

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The Legal Basis of Prisoners’ Rights (2 of 2)

• Inmate rights are conditional because they are constrained by legitimate needs of imprisonment

– Difference between rights and privileges is that privileges can be revoked at any time for any reason

– Rights have basis in Constitution and law and cannot be infringed without good cause

• Most prisoner lawsuits are based on 8th and 14th Amendment issues

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Grievance Procedures (1 of 2)

• Grievance procedure – A formal process through which an inmate can file a

complaint with local authorities and receive a mandated response

• Sanctions may not be levied against inmates without due process (Wolff v. McDonnell)

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Grievance Procedures (2 of 2)

• Inmates going before disciplinary boards are entitled to – notice of the charges brought against them – chance to organize a defense

– impartial hearing – opportunity to present witnesses and evidence in their

behalf

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A Return to the Hands-Off Doctrine?

• Deliberate indifference – A wanton disregard by corrections personnel for the

well-being of inmates – Requires knowledge that harm is occurring and

disregard of risk of harm

• Wilson v. Seiter (1991)—8th Amendment inmate challenges to prison conditions must show deliberate indifference before the court will hear the complaint

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A Return to the Hands-Off Doctrine? Cases

• Sandin v. Conner (1995)

• Wolff v. McDonnell (1974)

• Hewitt v. Helms (1983)

• Ali v. Federal Bureau of Prisons (2008)

• Millbrook v. U.S. (2013)

• Howes v. Fields and Florence v. Burlington County (2012)

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The Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1996

• Legislative effort to restrict inmate lawsuits to worthwhile cases and reduce the number of suits brought by state prisoners in federal courts

• P L R A has been effective in reducing the number of frivolous lawsuits filed by inmates alleging unconstitutional prison conditions

• Opponents fear it stifles filing of meritorious suits by inmates facing real deprivations

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Geriatric Offenders (1 of 3)

• Crimes by the elderly declining

• Expansion of elder population has led to increase in the number of elderly people in prison

– Currently 161,839 prisoners age 55+ – By 2030, will be over 400,000

• Fastest-growing segment of the inmate population

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Geriatric Offenders (2 of 3)

• Causes of “graying” prison population – General aging of U.S. population reflected inside

prisons – New sentencing policies that send more criminals to

prison for longer terms

– Massive prison-building boom in the 1980s and 1990s – Significant changes in parole philosophies and

practices

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Geriatric Offenders (3 of 3)

• Geriatric offenders have special needs—tend to suffer from physical disabilities, illnesses that prisons are rarely equipped to deal adequately with

• Incarcerating the elderly is costly and may be counterproductive

• Need rehabilitation programs geared for older inmates

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Mentally Ill and Intellectually Disabled Inmates (1 of 3)

• A substantial number of inmates have significant mental illnesses

– Higher rate of incarceration for violent and sex offenses

– Study found 40% receive no treatment

• Number of inmates with severe mental illness 10 times greater than people being treated in state psychiatric hospitals

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Mentally Ill and Intellectually Disabled Inmates (2 of 3)

• Few state correctional institutions have any substantial capacity for in-depth psychiatric treatment of inmates with serious mental illnesses

• Some states do operate facilities specializing in psychiatric confinement of convicted criminals

• Mentally ill inmates can be required to take antipsychotic drugs against their wishes

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Mentally Ill and Intellectually Disabled Inmates (3 of 3)

• About 10% of inmates have intellectual disabilities

• Inmates with low I Q s – Less likely to successfully complete training and

rehabilitative programs – Have difficulty adjusting to prison life – Likely to serve longer portion of sentence

• Few special facilities or programs for these inmates —most inmates mainstreamed

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Figure 12.5 Federal Prisoners with and without Serious Mental Illness

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Terrorism (1 of 2)

• Corrections personnel can assist antiterrorist efforts through intelligence gathering and sharing

• Administrators must be concerned about potential impact of outside terrorist attack on inmate/staff population in prison facility

– Bioterrorism a key concern

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Terrorism (2 of 2)

• Threat of terrorist attack by inmates in prison – Inmates vulnerable to recruitment by terrorist

organizations

• B O P practices – Tracks/monitors inmates with known or

suspected terrorist ties – Trains staff to recognize terrorist-related activity