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NCJ Number: 141153 Find in a Library
Title: What Works in Prison Management: Effects of Administrative Change in New Zealand
Journal: Federal Probation  Volume:56  Issue:4  Dated:(December 1992)  Pages:53-57
Author(s): G Newbold
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
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Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The effects of the administrative changes in the maximum security prison in New Zealand offers an example of the influence of corrections management on inmate subcultures.
Abstract: The experience of three prisons over a 30-year time period reveals that cohesive opposition is the only inmate response to administrative absolutism. This inmate reaction appeared at the Mt. Eden facility in the late 1950's, when the prison moved from its failed experiment with a form of pluralism, in which selected inmates aided the administration, to one of authoritarian management. Cohesive opposition continued in the subsequent austere regimes. The violent antagonism that accompanied inmate cohesion began to break down only when prison officials adopted a more conciliatory approach. Subsequently, a spirit of mutual cooperation guided staff-inmate relations. The experience of this and other New Zealand facilities has shown that a rise in the level of administrative oppression in secure institutions causes inmate self-commitment to deepen. Conversely, when the external threat is removed, a reduction in tension allows defenses to relax and a mood of tolerance to develop. Therefore, corrections administrators in the United States and New Zealand should not respond to prison overcrowding by abandoning expensive accommodative penology in favor of a cheap authoritarian expedient, because the resulting tension, violence, and equipment destruction may not save money. 30 references
Main Term(s): Inmate staff relations; Prison management
Index Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries; New Zealand; Prison climate; Prison overcrowding; US/foreign comparisons
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