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NCJ Number: 206064 Find in a Library
Title: Inmate and Prison Gang Leadership
Author(s): Sandra H. Fortune
Date Published: December 2003
Page Count: 151
Sponsoring Agency: East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN 37614-0056
Sale Source: East Tennessee State University
Dept of Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis
Box 70267
Johnson City, TN 37614-0056
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Dissertation/Thesis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This phenomenological study identified the characteristics of both gang and nongang inmate leaders based on interviews with 20 inmates in the Northeast Correctional Complex in Mountain City, TN.
Abstract: The inmates interviewed included both gang and nongang leaders. Interviews were tape recorded and transcribed for the interpretative analysis. The analysis concluded that the past experiences of inmates and the prisonization process influenced the nature and expectations of inmate leadership qualities. In the controlled prison environment, inmate leaders were those who had developed effective attitudes and behaviors that enabled them to cope with the prison environment to ensure personal safety and a minimum of problems. In order to lead and influence other inmates, a leader had to be not only personally successful in coping with prison life but also prove to be trustworthy in interactions with other inmates, adhere to the "code of silence" to protect other inmates from staff discipline, and show respect for other inmates. Gang leaders tended to enforce their leadership position through coercion and manifestations of power. Leadership in the gang involves diminishing decisionmaking by other gang members while increasing the decisionmaking by the gang leader. An effective gang leader is one whose decisions have beneficial outcomes for gang members. Many traits of free-world leaders are also viewed as important traits of the inmate leader, such as an abundance of worldly possessions, the ability to command loyalty, and exceptional decisionmaking abilities. Research recommendations include a focus on the leadership traits of juveniles in the correctional system and a study of leadership traits identified by females in the correctional system. Such research could identify the traits that are shaped by gender, prisonization, and a life with little exposure to constructive leadership role models. 169 references and appended forms and leaders related to the research
Main Term(s): Gang member attitudes
Index Term(s): Gangs; Inmate attitudes; Leadership; Prison conditions; Prisonization; Tennessee
Note: Downloaded July 8, 2004.
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