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NCJ Number: 65232 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: AGING IN A TOTAL INSTITUTION - THE CASE OF OLDER PRISONERS
Author(s): M B REED
Corporate Author: Tennessee Corrections Institute
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 83
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Tennessee Corrections Institute
Nashville, TN 37219
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: FINDINGS FROM A STUDY FOCUSING ON THE SOCIAL AND CULTURAL ASPECTS OF AGING AS COMPARED TO THE DEVELOPMENTAL PHENOMENA OF AGING THROUGH EXAMINATION OF A PRISON POPULATION ARE PRESENTED.
Abstract: SUBJECTS OF THE STUDY WERE DRAWN FROM THE POPULATION OF A MAJOR PRISON IN TENNESSEE. THEY INCLUDE ALL INMATES OVER 50 YEARS OF AGE WHO HAD SPENT AT LEAST 10 YEARS IN PRISON. A TOTAL OF 19 INMATES PARTICIPATED IN THE STRUCTURED INTERVIEW SCHEDULE OF 84 OPEN ENDED QUESTIONS DEVELOPED FOR DATA COLLECTION. QUESTIONS INCLUDED DEMOGRAPHIC ITEMS, INFORMATION ABOUT FAMILY RELATIONS AND FRIENDS, ATTITUDINAL ITEMS ON RELIGION AND POLITICS, AND LIFE EVENTS. RESPONSE EVALUATION INDICATED THAT ALTHOUGH MARRIAGE AND CHILDREN ARE COMMON AMONG PRISONERS, FAMILY RELATIONS ARE VIRTUALLY NONEXISTENT. THE FAMILY ROLE LOSS COMMON TO OLD AGE IS EXPERIENCED BY PRISONERS EARLY IN LIFE. DESPITE THIS LACK OF FAMILY CONTACT, THE IDEA OF HAVING CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN IS IMPORTANT TO THE INMATES. THE LACK OF MEANINGFUL SOCIAL RELATIONS OFTEN FOUND AMONG THE ELDERLY IS PART OF THE PRISON LIFESTYLE FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. AS SEEMS TO BE THE CASE ON THE OUTSIDE, RELIGION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MOST OLDER PRISONERS. OLDER PRISONERS, LIKE THEIR AGE PEERS IN THE COMMUNITY, ARE QUITE INTERESTED IN POLITICS AND ARE WELL INFORMED BY RADIO, TELEVISION, AND NEWSPAPERS. RETIREMENT HAS LITTLE MEANING IN THE PRISON SETTING; MOST OLDER PRISONERS WORK TO KEEP BUSY AS THERE IS NO AGE LIMIT ON WORKING. HOWEVER, WORK PROVIDES LITTLE IN THE WAY OF PRESTIGE, SATISFACTION, OR FINANCIAL REWARDS, AND SOCIAL STATUS IS BASED PRIMARILY ON TYPE OF OFFENSE. IN ADDITION, INMATES REPORT FEELING YOUNGER THAN PEOPLE ON THE OUTSIDE AND THEY APPEAR TO LOOK YOUNGER AS WELL. FURTHER, MUCH OF WHAT IS VIEWED AS PART OF NORMAL AGING DOES NOT TAKE PLACE IN THE PRISON SETTING, AND MANY OF THE LOSSES ASSOCIATED WITH THE NORMAL AGING PROCESS TAKE PLACE IN YOUNG ADULTHOOD AMONG PRISONERS. EVEN SOME OF THE EFFECTS OF ENVIRONMENTAL STRESSES ON APPEARANCE ARE MITIGATED. TABLES, A BIBLIOGRAPHY, AND AN APPENDIX ARE INCLUDED IN THE STUDY. (AUTHOR ABSTRACT MODIFIED--LWM).
Index Term(s): Behavioral and Social Sciences; Families of inmates; Inmate attitudes; Inmates; Inmates as research subjects; Older inmates; Studies; Tennessee
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=65232

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