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NCJ Number: 135958 Find in a Library
Title: Segregation and Hidden Discrimination in Prisons: Reflections on a Small Study of Cell Assignments (From Correctional Theory and Practice, P 146-161, 1992, Clayton A Hartjen and Edward E Rhine, eds. -- See NCJ-135949)
Author(s): D C McDonald; D Weisburd
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: Nelson-Hall Publishers
Chicago, IL 60606
Sale Source: Nelson-Hall Publishers
111 North Canal Street
Chicago, IL 60606
United States of America
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The assignment of housing locations in a large State prison in the northeastern United States was examined to determine whether racial or ethnic discrimination exists and to explore the implications for prison administrators' decisions regarding housing locations.
Abstract: In this prison, inmates were assigned cells by correctional officers upon admission. Prisoners could request changes of cells, and some were granted, depending on availability. Black inmates had complained to prisoners' rights attorneys that they were persistently denied transfers to desirable housing areas as well as assignments to better jobs. Prison records regarding cell assignments on 3 days in 1985 revealed that the distribution of inmates among cellblocks and within cellblocks does not show a clear pattern of segregation, but whites were probably given more of the desirable cellblocks. In addition, the prisoners' desires to associate with persons of the same ethnic and racial background received some support from the administrators. However, creating segregated racial and ethnic groups probably intensifies the development of intergroup antagonisms. Thus, a strong argument can be made for forced and purposive integration of inmates, both to help prevent small conflicts from becoming race riots and to prepare inmates for a society that does not permit interracial violence. Tables and 21 references
Main Term(s): Corrections management
Index Term(s): Inmate attitudes; Prison conditions; Prisoner's rights; Racial discrimination
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