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NCJ Number: 10634 Find in a Library
Title: PRIVATE ENTERPRISE IN A PRISON - THE FREE MARKET ECONOMY OF LA MESA PENITENCIARA
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:19  Issue:2  Dated:(APRIL 1973)  Pages:218227
Author(s): J A PRICE
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1973
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
Publication Number: U
Format: Article
Annotation: CONJUGAL RIGHTS, LONG AND OPEN FAMILY VISITS, AND A BARTER ECONOMY FOR CONVENIENCE ITEMS ARE THE OUTSTANDING FEATURES OF INMATE LIFE AT MEXICO'S PRISON IN TIJUANA.
Abstract: INSTEAD OF GENERATING A HIGHLY DISCIPLINED PROGRAM FOR PRISONERS, MEXICAN PENAL OFFICALS ALLOW A SELF-DISCIPLINING PRISON SUBCULTURE TO FORM, LARGELY ALONG LINES THAT PARALLEL THE CULTURE OF THE LOWER SOCIAL CLASS OF THE WIDER SOCIETY. LA MESA PENITENCIARIA TYPIFIES THIS PENAL PHILOSOPHY. CONJUGAL VISITS BY A PRISONER'S SPOUSE OR GIRLFRIEND, AS WELL AS FREQUENT FAMILY VISITS, ARE PERMITTED. FOOD, CLOTHING, AND MONEY ARE ALLOWED TO BE GIVEN TO PRISONERS DURING THESE CONTACTS. A MARKET SYSTEM DEVELOPS OUT OF THE BARTER OF THESE GOODS, THE PURCHASE OF BEDDING AND SPECIAL SLEEPING QUARTERS, AND THE OPERATION OF STORES, RESTAURANTS, AND SMALL MANUFACTURING FIRMS. A PRISONER'S WEALTH, INDUSTRIOUSNESS, AND BARTERING ABILITY DETERMINE THE NATURE OF HIS FOOD, LIVING QUARTERS, DRESS, AND SOCIAL STATUS. THE RESULTING PRISON SOCIETY IS THUS SIMILAR TO THE SOCIAL REALITIES OUTSIDE PRISON, AND IT DRAWS THE INMATES TO DAILY ECONOMIC DECISIONS. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT WHILE THIS PRISON HAS VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS, SUCH AS ITS OPEN HEROIN TRADE AND WIDESPREAD GUARD CORRUPTION, FOR MOST OF ITS INMATES LA MESA PENITENCIARIA IS A HUMANE PRISON.
Index Term(s): Conjugal visits; Correctional facilities; Correctional industries; Correctional institutions (adult); Effects of imprisonment; Inmate staff relations; Management; Mexico; Social conditions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=10634

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