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NCJ Number: 65231 Find in a Library
Title: AGING IN A TOTAL INSTITUTION - THE CASE OF OLDER PRISONERS
Journal: GERONTOLOGIST  Volume:19  Issue:4  Dated:(1979)  Pages:354-360
Author(s): M B REED; F D GLAMSER
Corporate Author: Gerontological Soc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 7
Sponsoring Agency: Gerontological Soc
Washington, DC 20006
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: RESULTS ARE REPORTED FROM INTERVIEWS WITH OLDER INMATES SO AS TO DESCRIBE THE AGING EXPERIENCE IN PRISON.
Abstract: THE STUDY SAMPLE CONSISTED OF 19 SUBJECTS IN A MAJOR STATE PENITENTIARY IN SOUTHEASTERN UNITED STATES. THE AGE RANGE OF THE SUBJECTS WAS FROM 42 TO 77 YEARS, WITH A MEDIAN OF 60 YEARS. THE AVERAGE TIME SPENT IN PRISON FOR THE SUBJECTS WAS 23 YEARS. AN INTERVIEW SCHEDULE OF 84 OPEN-ENDED ITEMS WAS USED. THE FORMAL INTERVIEW SESSIONS WERE PRECEDED BY VISITS TO THE SUBJECTS OVER A 2-MONTH PERIOD; THIS ALLOWED TIME FOR RAPPORT TO BE ESTABLISHED BETWEEN THE RESEARCHER AND THE SUBJECTS. RESULTS SHOWED THAT MANY OF THE EXPERIENCES ASSOCIATED WITH AGING IN FREE SOCIETY--DISPERSAL OF FAMILY MEMBERS, DEATH OF SPOUSE, RETIREMENT, FINANCIAL INSECURITY, LOSS OF SOCIAL STATUS, AND PHYSICAL AND EMOTIONAL DETERIORATION RESULTING FROM WORK AND STRESS--HAD NOT BEEN EXPERIENCED BY THE OLDER INMATES, OR THEY HAD BEEN EXPERIENCED IN YOUNG ADULTHOOD AS A RESULT OF SEPARATION FROM NORMAL FAMILY, WORK, AND COMMUNITY LIFE IMPOSED BY IMPRISONMENT. PRISON LIFE HAD PROVIDED A SECURE, PREDICTABLE, RELATIVELY UNCHANGING STRUCTURE OF EXISTENCE WHERE CHRONOLOGICAL AGE WAS NOT MARKED BY RADICAL DETERIORATION OF SOCIAL EXPERIENCES AND OCCUPATIONAL STATUS. AN ABSENCE OF STRESS WAS NOTED IN THE PRISON SETTING, PROBABLY RESULTING FROM LACK OF OCCUPATIONAL AND SOCIAL PERFORMANCE EXPECTATIONS FOUND IN SOCIETY. MANY OF THE INMATES LOOKED MUCH YOUNGER THAN THEIR CHRONOLOGICAL AGE. WHILE MANY OF THE AGED IN FREE SOCIETY MUST STRUGGLE AND MAKE RADICAL ADJUSTMENTS TO GAIN SECURITY AND SOCIAL STATUS, THE AGING INMATE HAS MEDICAL AND SURVIVAL NEEDS MET, AND ADJUSTMENT TO INSTITUTIONAL LIFE OCCURRED MANY YEARS AGO. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Age group comparisons; Effects of imprisonment; Inmate attitudes; Older Adults (65+); Older inmates
Note: REVISION OF A PAPER DELIVERED AT THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOUTHERN SOCIOLOGICAL SOCIETY, NEW ORLEANS, LA, MARCH 1978
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65231

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