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NCJ Number: 65471 Find in a Library
Title: RANK AND TERRITORY OF THE VIOLENT OFFENDER
Journal: GEORGIA JOURNAL OF CORRECTIONS  Volume:3  Issue:1  Dated:(WINTER 1974)  Pages:20025
Author(s): W T AUSTIN
Date Published: 1974
Page Count: 6
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SOCIAL RANK (RELEVANT POSITION IN A DOMINANT HIERARCHY) AND SPATIAL TERRITORY POSSESSED BY 45 INMATES CONFINED TO A GEORGIA WORK CAMP IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: OBSERVED WAS A BARRACKS-STYLE DORMITORY (REFERRED TO AS THE BULLPEN) IN WHICH THE INMATES WERE HOUSED FOR A MAJOR PART OF THE DAY. VARIOUS TYPES OF INTERACTIONAL BEHAVIOR OF THE 45 INMATES WERE RECORDED FROM AN OBSERVATION POST FOR APPROXIMATELY 2 WEEKS. ONE OF THE FINDINGS VALIDATED FROM AN EARLIER STUDY WAS THAT THE HIGHER THE INMATE'S RANK, THE GREATER WAS HIS POSSESSION OF VALUED BULLPEN TERRITORY. OF THE 45 INMATES EXAMINED, THOSE WHO WERE INCARCERATED ON VIOLENT OFFENSES (MURDER, ROBBERY, AGGRAVATED ASSAULT, INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER, VOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER) WERE NOT NECESSARILY MORE DOMINANT THAN OTHER INMATES, BUT DID APPEAR TO POSSESS MORE VALUED OBJECTS OR BULLPEN SPACE THAN INMATES CONFINED ON NONVIOLENT OFFENSES. DOMINANCE WAS DETERMINED BY RECORDING INMATES INTERACTION AS WELL AS INMATE EXPESSION OF AGONISM (BEHAVIOR PERFORMED TOWARD OTHER INMATES AND STAFF WHICH WAS SUGESTIVE OF DOMINANCE OR SUBORDINANCE). THE TWO INDICATORS OF INMATE TERRITORIAL BEHAVIOR WERE THE TYPE OF PERSONAL LIVING SPACE OCCUPIED BY THE INMATES AND THE DISTANCE OF EACH INMATE'S BUNK AREA FROM THE TELEVISION SET. FINDINGS INDICATED THAT THOSE INMATES LOCATED TOWARD THE TOP OF THE DOMINANCE HIERARCHY WERE IN POSSESSION OF SINGLE BUNKS, WERE IN LESS CONGESTED AREAS, AND HAD A CLEAR VIEW OF THE TELEVISION SET. IN NO CASE WAS A VIOLENT OFFENDER DEVOID OF SPECIAL TERRITORIAL RECOGNITION. ALTHOUGH THERE HAVE BEEN EFFORTS DIRECTED TOWARD ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN FOR CRIME PREVENTION AND TOWARD NEW ENVIRONMENTS FOR THE INCARCERATED, THE TOPIC OF RANK AND TERRITORY OF THE VIIOLENT OFFENDERS HAS BEEN NEGLECTED. SINCE INMATES INCARCERATED ON VIOLENT OFFENSES DO RESPOND DIFFERENTLY IN SOCIAL INTERACTIONAL SETTINGS THAN INMATES INCARCERATED ON NONVIOLENT OFFENSES, THE MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATION OF SUCH PRISONERS SHOULD BE EXAMINED. ISSUES THAT SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED INCLUDE DISTINGUISHING VIOLENT FROM NONVIOLENT PRISONERS BY DEFENSE OF PERSONAL TERRITORY; DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN THE DEGREE OF POTENTIAL VIOLENCE POSSESSED BY PRISONERS CONFINED ON VIOLENT INMATES IN SPECIAL INSTITUTIONAL WORK SETTINGS; AND TREATING THE VIOLENT INMATE DIFFERENTLY FROM THE NONVIOLENT INMATE. REFERENCES ARE PROVIDED. (MJW)
Index Term(s): Behavior; Inmates; Prisonization; Social organization; Space management; Violent inmates; Violent offenders
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