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NCJ Number: 192796 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Community Perceptions About Prison Construction: Why Not In My Backyard?
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:80  Issue:3  Dated:September 2000  Pages:265-294
Author(s): Randy Martin
Date Published: September 2000
Page Count: 30
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections
Mechanicsburg, PA 17050
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines community perceptions about prison construction.
Abstract: Claims in the literature that communities express strong resistance to and negative attitudes about the introduction of a prison have not been supported with systematically collected data. A survey was administered to 3,795 residents of a county in which construction of a new prison had just begun. When asked for their expectations regarding the prison's impact on their community, the majority of the 1,659 respondents were, at worst, neutral. The article describes survey results and examines them within the context of the literature on locally unwanted land use and the not-in-my-backyard syndrome. Post hoc assessments of perceived impact generally indicate that residents in host communities did not hold strongly negative views. Those initially opposed to prison construction in their community tended to become more neutral or supportive once they became aware of the economic benefits. The article concludes that the most significant factors affecting prison-community relations were the siting process and public relations. It strongly recommends that future projects attempt to directly assess and systematically monitor siting processes. Such data could help identify aspects of the siting process that are more and less effective in addressing public concerns and fears. They could also help in fine tuning siting strategies and thereby help to create more cooperative relationships with host communities. Tables, appendix, references
Main Term(s): Corrections
Index Term(s): Attitude change; Community support; Data collections; Economic impact of prisons; Opposition to prison construction; Prison construction; Prison location; Public Opinion of Corrections; Surveys
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