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NCJ Number: 47945 Find in a Library
Title: IMPACT OF CONFINEMENT (FROM JUSTICE AND CORRECTIONS, 1978, BY NORMAN JOHNSTON AND LEONARD D SAVITZ - SEE NCJ-47922)
Author(s): A GUENTHER
Corporate Author: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: John Wiley and Sons, Inc.
Hoboken, NJ 07030-5774
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE WAY SOME PROPERTIES OF CONFINEMENT AFFECT THE LIVES OF MEN IN PRISON SETTINGS AND SOME OF THE PRISONERS' RESPONSES ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: ROUTINIZATION IS PROBABLY THE MOST PERVASIVE ASPECT OF LIFE IN THE PRISON SETTING. EVERY PRISON MUST DEVELOP A MECHANISM FOR THE ROUTINE HANDLING OF SCHEDULED EVENTS. THE CLEAREST INDICATOR OF THE ATTENTION TO THESE MATTERS IS AN INTRICATE SYSTEM OF MEMORANDUMS, FORMS, ROUTING SLIPS, AND PASSES. FROM ADMISSION TO RELEASE APPLICATIONS AND RELEASES ARE REQUIRED FOR NEARLY EVERY ACTIVITY IN WHICH AN INMATE ENGAGES. INMATES USUALLY UNDERSTAND WHY THIS ROUTINIZATION OF CONDUCT IS NECESSARY; THEY REALIZE THAT THE MANY SETS OF INDIVIDUALIZED NEEDS CANNOT BE ACCOMMODATED. WHAT THEY OBJECT TO IS THE TEDIUM THAT ACCOMPANIES A NEARLY FLAWLESS SCHEDULE. PRISON CONFINEMENT ALSO CARRIES WITH IT SEVERAL ASPECTS OF DEBASEMENT, MORTIFICATION, AND DEHUMANIZATION. FIRST, PRISON STAFFS EMPLOY TRADITIONAL STEREOTYPES IN REFERRING TO INMATES, BOTH PUBLICLY AND PRIVATELY. MOST ARE BASED ON ALLEGED HOMOSEXUAL BEHAVIOR, RACIST BELIEFS, PRESUMED DRUG USE, TYPE OF CRIMINAL, OR STATE OF EMOTIONAL DISORDER. A SECOND SOURCE OF DEBASEMENT IS THE INVOLUNTARY ASSUMPTION OF A WORK ROLE WHICH IS INCOMPATIBLE WITH THE PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE OF INMATES. SINCE EVERYONE IN THE PRISON ENVIRONMENT IS EXPECTED TO WORK, THOSE INMATES WHO HELD MEANINGFUL AND REWARDING JOBS ON THE OUTSIDE OFTEN FIND PRISON EMPLOYMENT DEMEANING. THIRD, THE EXPOSURE WHICH PRISONERS EXPERIENCE IS SO ENCOMPASSING THAT CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTIONS ARE OFTEN SAID TO BE EFFECTIVELY DEHUMANIZING. COLLECTIVE SLEEPING ARRANGEMENTS, OPEN TOILET FACILITIES, CENSORED MAIL, AND MASS DINING DIFFUSE INFORMATION ABOUT ONESELF TO AN UNSELECTED AUDIENCE. THIS FEATURE OF INSTITUTIONAL LIVING IS PROBABLY MOST ABRASIVE TO INMATES, FOR THEY REGULARLY OBJECT TO THEIR ENFORCED INTERACTION WITH OTHER INMATES. REMOVAL FROM FREE SOCIETY TO CONFINEMENT IS DISRUPTIVE IN MANY WAYS. ON MOST OCCASIONS OFFENDERS FIND THEMSELVES ILL-PREPARED TO ARRANGE PERSONAL AFFAIRS, AND THE PERIOD OF PRETRIAL CUSTODY IS GENERALLY ONE OF INCAPACITATION. AFTER CONVICTION AND SENTENCING, THE SOURCES AVAILABLE TO THEM ARE LIMITED TO RESTRICTED NUMBERS OF PHONE CALLS, CORRESPONDENCE, AND VISITS WITH APPROVED PERSONS, USUALLY CLOSE RELATIVES, AND ATTORNEYS. TIME IS ANOTHER FACTOR. A LONG SENTENCE DISTINGUISHES INMATES IN THE EYES OF THE CORRECTIONAL STAFF, AND CONSEQUENTLY THEY CAN EXPECT MUCH CLOSER SUPERVISION AND GREATER DEFERENCE FROM FELLOW INMATES. NOTES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Effects of imprisonment; Inmate staff relations; Inmates; Self concept
Note: REPRINTED FROM SOCIAL DIMENSIONS OF A PENITENTIARY REPORT TO THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE, 1975, UNPUBLISHED MIMEO
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=47945

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