skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

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: 51151 Find in a Library
Title: PRISON AS A LAWLESS AGENCY
Journal: BUFFALO LAW REVIEW  Volume:21  Issue:3  Dated:(SPRING 1972)  Pages:799-838
Author(s): D F GREENBERG; F STENDER
Corporate Author: State University of New York at Buffalo
Faculty of Law and Jurisprudence
United States of America
Date Published: 1972
Page Count: 40
Sponsoring Agency: State University of New York at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14214
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS GRAPHIC CALL FOR REFORM DOCUMENTS PRISON ABUSES BY QUOTING CONFIDENTIAL EYE-WITNESS TESTIMONY, AFFIDAVITS, AND BOOKS WRITTEN BY EX-CONVICTS. SOCIETY'S LACK OF CONCERN IS ANALYZED.
Abstract: THREE MAJOR THEMES ARE FOUND INTERWOVEN IN THIS DOCUMENT, WHICH WAS WRITTEN FROM THE VIEWPOINT OF RADICAL CRIMINOLOGY. THIS FIRST COMPARES THE PLIGHT OF CONVICTS TO THAT OF BLACKS BEFORE THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT; SOCIETY NEITHER SEES NOR UNDERSTANDS THEIR PLIGHT. THE SECOND THEME IS THE ABSOLUTE LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY OF CORRECTIONS AGENCIES. THE THIRD IS THE RACIST QUALITY OF MUCH OF THIS LAWLESSNESS. CASE HISTORIES AND DOCUMENTS ARE USED TO ILLUSTRATE THE BRUTAL CONDITIONS IN SOME UNITED STATES PRISONS. CONDITIONS IN SAN QUENTIN AND SOLEDAD IN CALIFORNIA AND IN NEW YORK'S ATTICA ARE HIGHLIGHTED, BUT IT IS POINTED OUT THAT THESE ARE MERELY EXTREME EXAMPLES OF CONDITIONS FOUND IN OTHER PRISONS. THE NEED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY OF ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCIES IS DISCUSSED. ATTEMPTS TO LEGISLATE SUCH ACCOUNTABILITY HAVE BEEN DEFEATED BY STRONG CORRECTIONS DEPARTMENT LOBBYING. IN SOME INSTANCES, REFORM HAS BEEN LEGISLATED, BUT ADMINISTRATIVE SECRECY ALLOWS CONDITIONS TO CONTINUE UNCHANGED. THE PUBLIC LACK OF CONCERN ABOUT CONDITIONS IN PRISONS IS DISCUSSED, AS IS THE RACIST FLAVOR OF MUCH PRISON ABUSE. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT SOCIETY HAS GREAT PREJUDICE AGAINST OFFENDERS AND PREFERS NOT TO CONCERN ITSELF WITH PRISON CONDITIONS. SINCE THOSE PRISONERS MOST LIKELY TO BE BEATEN OR KILLED ARE BLACK OR HISPANIC, A DOUBLE PREJUDICE TAKES OVER. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT PRISONERS AND EX-PRISONERS THEMSELVES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO LEAD THE MOVEMENT FOR REFORM AND THAT THIS REFORM IS GOING TO HAVE TO START WITH SOCIAL CHANGE. THE MAJOR REFORM MUST BE THE ELIMINATION OF SECRECY. ONLY WHEN THE OUTSIDE WORLD CAN SEE WHAT IS HAPPENING, WILL REAL CHANGE TAKE PLACE. THE ARTICLE IS HEAVILY FOOTNOTED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): Abuse of authority; California; Correctional institutions (adult); Hostility; Inmate discipline; Inmate grievances; Inmate personal security; Management; New York; Prisoner's rights; Reform
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51151

*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.