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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 229631 
Title: Living in a Box: Ethnicity and Identity Inside a Young Men's Prison (From Youth Justice Handbook: Theory, Policy and Practice, P 142-151, 2010, Wayne Taylor, Rod Earle, and Richard Hester, eds. - See NCJ-229620)
Author(s): Rod Earle
Date Published: 2010
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Book Chapter
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This account of life inside a young offender institution in Great Britain (HMYOI Rochester in Kent), draws from a study of the ways in which ethnicity and masculinity are understood and experienced by the young male residents and how concepts of gender, race, and racism shape daily interactions among them.
Abstract: The prison houses offenders from the diverse population of London, were Black and minority ethnic youth are overrepresented in the criminal justice system. Prisoners are also likely to be sent to HMYOI Rochester from courts in the counties of Kent, Essex, and East Sussex, where White ethnicities predominate, as well as from other YOIs in southeast England. Although the research showed an apparent durable, consensual, and stable "surface" of acceptance of inmates of different races and ethnicities in the ethnically diverse inmate population, this was a thin veneer that concealed racialized tensions. One of the most common ways White inmates vented these tensions and anxieties was through a sense of Whites being victims of racial victimization. They argued that they were harmed as a consequence of both the prejudice of Black inmates and the existence of double standards in the recognition of what constituted "racism." Still, many of the informal exchanges with the young inmates as well as the more structured interviews that explored aspects of their sense of identity found that a sense of ethnic identity was superseded by a locality-based identification. The author comments, however, that identification with local neighborhoods, which are generally racially homogeneous, may merge with a sense of racial identity. These findings came from researchers interviews and observations during 8 months of in-prison fieldwork. 29 references
Main Term(s): Juvenile inmates
Index Term(s): Foreign juvenile justice systems; Minority juvenile offenders; Racial discrimination; Reverse discrimination; Self concept
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