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NCJ Number: 63060 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: VOICE FROM THE PRISON - PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSAULT WITHIN THE PRISON SYSTEM
Author(s): S N MAAMARY; T W MATHEWS
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 18
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: ASPECTS OF THE PRISON SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT WHICH CONSTITUTE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASSAULT ON INMATES ARE IDENTIFIED AND A GENERAL APPROACH FOR REFORM IS SUGGESTED.
Abstract: ASSUMING THAT A PRIMARY FUNCTION OF IMPRISONMENT IS TO SOCIALIZE THE INMATE TO LIVE IN A MANNER ACCEPTABLE TO NORMATIVE SOCIETY, THE PREVALENT SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT OF PRISONS MUST BE JUDGED COUNTERPRODUCTIVE BECAUSE OF ITS TENDENCY TO STIMULATE INMATE PSYCHOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS DESTRUCTIVE OF 'NORMAL' SOCIAL FUNCTIONING. SOURCES OF INMATE PSYCHOLOGICAL DEBILITATION ARE PRISON RULES AND REGULATIONS, THE STAFF POWER STRUCTURE, THE INMATE SOCIAL SYSTEM, AND DEHUMANIZING BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION PROGRAMS. PRISON RULES AND REGULATIONS ARE GENERALLY DESIGNED TO REPRESS INDIVIDUALITY AND INITIATIVE BY REQUIRING UNIFORM MASS BEHAVIOR THAT GIVES INMATES A SENSE OF BEING TURNED INTO ROBOTS. PSYCHOLOGICAL HEALTH INCLUDES A SENSE OF PERSONAL UNIQUENESS AND THE EXERCISE OF THAT UNIQUENESS IN CONTROLLING EVENTS ACCORDING TO SELF-DEVISED PLANS. INMATES ARE ALSO SUBJECT TO THE DAILY MANIPULATIVE AND INSENSITIVE BEHAVIOR OF GUARDS WHO ARE ILL-EQUIPPED THROUGH DETRIMENTS IN EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT TO FOSTER HEALTHY INMATE PSYCHOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT. GUARDS TEND TO HAVE STEREOTYPED VIEWS THAT PRECLUDE ANY REINFORCEMENT OR CREATION OF POSITIVE SELF-IMAGES IN INMATES. THE INMATE SOCIAL SYSTEM INJECTS ANOTHER DYNAMIC OF MANIPULATIVE SOCIAL FORCES ENCOURAGING SURVIVAL THROUGH PHYSICAL STRENGTH AND INTIMIDATING BEHAVIOR. INMATES STRIVING FOR THE INTEGRITY OF SOCIALIZING BEHAVIOR TEND TO BE OSTRACIZED AND VICTIMIZED IN THE INMATE SOCIAL SYSTEM. GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS OF BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION CONSTITUTE ADDITIONAL EFFORTS TO PROGRAM AND MANIPULATE INMATE BEHAVIOR FROM OUTSIDE THE EGO-CENTER OF THE INMATE'S SENSE OF PERSONALITY. OVERALL, THE INMATE IS ASSAULTED WITH VICTIMIZING PSYCHOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL FORCES TENDING TO PRODUCE APATHY AND WITHDRAWAL OR HOSTILITY AND VIOLENCE. COMPREHENSIVE REFORM OF THE PRISON SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT MUST BE DESIGNED AND ENCOURAGED BY THE COOPERATIVE ENDEAVORS OF SOCIOLOGISTS, PSYCHOLOGISTS, PENOLOGISTS, AND EX-INMATES. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Effects of imprisonment; Emotional disorders; Incarceration
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63060

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