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NCJ Number: 44480 Find in a Library
Title: PRISON BEHAVIOR
Author(s): P G ZIMBARDO; C HANEY
Date Published: 1975
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Technical Information Service
Springfield, VA 22151
Grant Number: N00014-67-A0041 TO 0112
Publication Number: ONR TECHNICAL REPORT 2-14; PROJECT NO NR-171-814
Sale Source: National Technical Information Service
US Dept of Commerce
5285 Port Royal Road
Springfield, VA 22151
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE BEHAVIOR OF PRISON INMATES AND GUARDS IS DISCUSSED IN TERMS OF THE IMPACT OF THE INSTITUTIONAL ENVIRONMENT.
Abstract: THE HISTORY AND PURPOSES OF INCARCERATION, THE PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL STRUCTURE OF CONFINEMENT, PSYCHOLOGICAL ADAPTATION TO LIFE IN PRISON, AND THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF VARIOUS TREATMENT MODALITIES IN REDUCING RECIDIVISM ARE DISCUSSED AS FACTORS IN UNDERSTANDING THE PRISON ENVIRONMENT AS A COMPLEX SOCIAL AND POLITICAL SYSTEM THAT EXERTS A POWERFUL FORCE ON HUMAN BEHAVIOR. IT IS NOTED THAT THE GENERAL KINDS OF PSYCHOPATHOLOGY THAT THE PRISON ENVIRONMENT PRODUCES IN INCARCERATED PEOPLE ARE MORE RELEVANT TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE PATHOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF THE PRISON EXPERIENCE THAN ARE THE KINDS OF IDIOSYNCRATIC PATHOLOGY THAT SOME PEOPLE MAY BRING INTO PRISONS. FROM THIS POINT OF VIEW, IT IS POSSIBLE TO INTERPRET WHAT APPEARS TO BE ABNORMAL OR DISORDERED BEHAVIOR ON THE PART OF INMATES AS BEING IN REALITY NORMAL, FUNCTIONAL ADAPTATION TO EXTREME, PATHOLOGICAL CIRCUMSTANCES. THE ABSENCE OF LONG-TERM STUDIES ON THE EFFECTS OF OCCUPATIONAL STRESS ON PRISON GUARDS IS NOTED, AS IS THE NEED FOR RESEARCH ON PRISON BEHAVIOR TO BE CONDUCTED BY IMPARTIAL OBSERVERS. A SIMULATION STUDY (NCJ 10301) IS CITED IN WHICH STUDENTS PLAYED ROLES AS GUARDS AND PRISONERS FOR A 2-WEEK PERIOD. HALF OF THE MOCK PRISONERS HAD TO BE RELEASED WITHIN 5 DAYS BECAUSE OF SEVERE EMOTIONAL DISTRESS. ALL OF THE MOCK GUARDS AT SOME TIME BEHAVED CRUELLY, BRUTALLY, AND SADISTICALLY. THE ENTIRE EXPERIMENT HAD TO BE TERMINATED PREMATURELY BECAUSE THE SUBJECTS APPEARED TO HAVE LOST SIGHT OF THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN ROLE IDENTITY AND SELF-IDENTITY. THIS AND OTHER RESEARCH IS SAID TO POINT TO THE FORCES THAT TOTAL INSTITUTIONS BRING TO BEAR IN MODIFYING BELIEFS, PERCEPTIONS, VALUES, AND BEHAVIOR. A LIST OF REFERENCES IS INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Behavior; Correctional personnel; Effects of imprisonment; Incarceration; Inmates
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=44480

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