skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 219906 Find in a Library
Title: Applying Differential Coercion and Social Support Theory to Prison Organizations: The Case of the Penitentiary of New Mexico
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:87  Issue:3  Dated:September 2007.  Pages:367-387
Author(s): Mark Colvin
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 21
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Using the Penitentiary of New Mexico, this article argues that organizational change and differences in forms of behavior are shaped by changes in both levels and types of social support for prisoners and levels of coercion experienced by prisoners.
Abstract: The Penitentiary of New Mexico experienced dramatic shifts in levels of coercion and social support from 1956 to 1980. The organizational history of the Penitentiary of New Mexico has been largely documented through materials collected during the official investigation of the 1980 riot and subsequent research on its history. A historical narrative is presented and taken from official transcripts of interviews conducted by the New Mexico Attorney General’s Office during its investigation of the 1980 riot. Four periods of time are examined: authoritarian regime and repressive coexistence (1956 to 1967), the revolution of hope and positive change (1968 to 1972); the era of frustration and diminishing hope (1972 to June 1976); and the era of brutality, fear and loathing, disorganization, and disorder (June 1976 to 1980). The organizational dynamics described in these time periods can be understood in the context of the interplay between coercion and social support that differed in each period. Some lessons for prison management can be taken from this organizational history. This article outlines the dominant characteristics of each period and how these characteristics affected disorder and consent and discusses policy implications for sound prison management to produce both order within prisons and ex-offenders better prepared for law-abiding lives. Differential coercion and social support (DCSS) theory is viewed as having great utility beyond understanding individual criminal behavior as it provides a cogent framework for understanding organizational dynamics in prisons. Figures, references
Main Term(s): Prison management
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; Corrections management; History of corrections; New Mexico
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.