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NCJ Number: 120659 Find in a Library
Title: Inmates' Conceptions of Prison Sexual Assault
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:69  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring-Summer 1989)  Pages:53-61
Author(s): R S Jones; T J Schmid
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 9
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper purports that the imagery of prison sexual assault influences the way in which first-time inmates define the prison social world and consequently, how they organize their life in the institution.
Abstract: Data for the study are derived from ten months of participant observation at a maximum security prison for men by one inmate and one outsider. Extensive field notes were supplemented by repeated contacts with about 50 inmates and focused interviews with other prisoners. The first-time inmate progresses from a pre-incarceration image of prison violence and uncertainty to a view dominated by the themes of unchanging, regimented routine. The shock value of prison rape is reflected in the inmate's image of the prison world, his adaptation strategy, and his self-definition. Eventually, rapes, suicides, and murders lose their shock value and the inmate begins to redefine these events according to accepted rationalizations. They become a normal component of prison life, and sometimes, an almost welcome relief from the tedium. The uncertainty and apprehension of first-time inmates could be reduced through improved orientation programs and housing divisions between those most likely to victimize others, leave others alone, or become a victim. 3 footnotes, 17 references.
Main Term(s): Prisoner sexual assault
Index Term(s): Rape research; Victim-offender relationships; Victimization in prisons
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