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NCJ Number: 201909 Find in a Library
Title: Inmates' Social Background and Living Conditions
Journal: Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:2003  Pages:39-56
Author(s): Torbjorn Skardhamar
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 18
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: This study examined the previous socioeconomic conditions of inmates in a Norwegian correctional institution.
Abstract: Many mainstream criminological theories, such as strain theory, control theory, and critical theory, begin with the assumption that most criminals are from lower socioeconomic positions, and are thus marginalized from mainstream society. Moreover, prison inmates in particular are thought to suffer from material and social deprivation. However, in Norway especially, empirical evidence of the lower socioeconomic standing of prison inmates has been lacking. As such, the author analyzed questionnaire data from a sample of 247 inmates who were housed in the eastern prison district in Norway. The findings lend support to the mainstream criminological theories; most inmates had lived under very poor conditions and tended to experience major difficulties when released in terms of finding suitable housing and work. Many also suffered from additional problems such as a history of homelessness, drug abuse, or mental illness. The author contends that being of lower socioeconomic status does not cause crime, per say, but narrows the field of opportunities for these individuals. In conclusion, the author asserts that one should not blame these individuals for making poor choices when other choices are not necessarily open. References
Main Term(s): Economic analysis of crime; Foreign inmates
Index Term(s): Crime causes theory; Crime control theory; Strain theory
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