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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149355 Find in a Library
Title: Hidden Life of Polish Prisons
Author(s): P Moczydlowski
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 206
Sponsoring Agency: Indiana University Press
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
Publication Number: ISBN 0-253-33861-1
Sale Source: Indiana University Press
Promotion Manager
601 N. Morton Street
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: Poland
Annotation: This study examines the "informal organization" of Polish prisons.
Abstract: The first section of the book characterizes the protective shell that surrounds prison life and describes the author's study methods. The insights are based on prison visits the author made before beginning his research. The visits involved 10 penal institutions (3 for women, 2 for juvenile offenders, 2 for first offenders, and 3 for recidivists) and at 3 boys' reformatories. The author stayed in these institutions during the 1970's and early 1980's. The actual research was conducted in three prisons: a closed penal institution for juveniles, a closed penal institution for recidivists, and a semi-open institution for first offenders. The study found that the "hidden" life (informal organization) of a prison is based in three groups of relationships: those among prisoners, those among prison staff, and those between prisoners and staff. The second part of the book describes the sets of relationships at the three penitentiaries and analyzes the origins and functions of the informal prison structure. Inmate-staff relations are examined within the context of a formulated concept of relationships among inmates. Another chapter describes personal relationships within the staff community. The final chapter highlights the author's basic thesis, i.e., that the differentiation of social relations in the "hidden" life of Polish prisons is a derivative of their economic organization. The structure of the prison community and its functions are conditioned by access to consumer goods and the cooperative or noncooperative way of obtaining them through exploitation of someone else or independently. The character of these variables is determined by the degree of isolation in the institution and the type of production in which the inmates are employed, as well as the possibility and scale of the illegal production and trade. Chapter notes and a subject index
Main Term(s): Correctional facilities
Index Term(s): Foreign correctional facilities; Inmate staff relations; Prison conditions
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