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NCJ Number: 115626 Find in a Library
Title: Screen Test: Has Hollywood Hurt Corrections' Image?
Journal: Corrections Today  Volume:51  Issue:1  Dated:(February 1989)  Pages:64-66,94-95,98
Author(s): L O Zaner
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 7
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Despite tremendous reforms in corrections over the past two decades, portrayals in the entertainment industry continue to be overwhelmingly negative.
Abstract: Even worse, these unfavorable images of corrections may be reflected by the news media, creating the impression that corrections is plagued by crisis and abuses. In many films, wardens are portrayed as monsters, correctional officers potbellied men with shotguns, and convicted thieves and murderers as daring heroes. The pervasive impression is that the audience should be rooting for the kept, not the keepers. In many films, not only the characters are portrayed negatively, but the entire criminal justice system comes under fire. It is difficult to estimate to what extent films influence public opinions about corrections. There is a natural tendency to identify with a character who is denied freedom and to root for the underdog, although films may merely reflect public attitudes toward corrections rather than mold them. If corrections wishes to improve its public image, it will have to work to increase public understanding by having more of an open-door policy toward both the public and the media. Corrections must not let negative publicity go by without reaction, and it must work to cultivate positive images and emphasize successes. 4 photographs.
Main Term(s): Media support
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