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NCJ Number: 67325 Find in a Library
Title: ASPECT OF THE PRISONER'S MENTAL WORLD
Journal: ANNALES MEDICO-PSYCHOLOGIQUES  Volume:136  Issue:3  Dated:(MARCH 1978)  Pages:393-402
Author(s): M LAXENAIRE; G STEINBACH
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: PSYCHIATRIC PROBLEMS AND PSYCHOLOGICAL CHANGES IN PRISONERS ARE ANALYZED ON THE BASIS OF STUDIES CONDUCTED IN TWO FRENCH DETENTION CENTER.
Abstract: PRISONERS TYPICALLY COMPLAIN OF VARIOUS TYPES OF DIGESTIVE DYSFUNCTION, INSOMNIA, INTENSE FATIGUE, ILLUSIONARY HOPES OF HELP FROM HIGH-PLACED PERSONS, AND FEAR OF HAVING TO FACE THE OUTSIDE WORLD. IN PRISON, THE INMATES DWELL ON THEIR PASTS AND ON A FUTURE DOMINATED BY MONOTONY. THEY FACE UNSKILLED, UNSTIMULATING WORK AND HAVE FEW CONTACTS WITH THE OUTSIDE. THEY SOON BECOME INVOLVED IN FANTASIES IN WHICH THE CHILD BECOMES A SYMBOL OF FREEDOM. PRISON PSYCHIATRISTS PROVIDE THE ONLY OPPORTUNITY FOR INMATES TO VENT THEIR FEELINGS. A COMMON COMPLAINT OF PRISONERS IS DIGESTIVE AILMENTS WHICH ARE RELATED TO THE LACK OF FREEDOM AND STRICT ROUTINE WHICH THE PRISON ADMINISTRATION ENFORCES. AT THE SAME TIME, INMATES BECOME UNABLE TO EXIST EXCEPT AS INFANTILE DEPENDENTS IN A STATE OF REGRESSION. PRISONERS CHOSE A SYMBOLIC DEATH WHICH PLACES THEM IN A STATE OF HIBERNATION; THEY WITHDRAW TO A SAFE PLACE WITHIN THEMSELVES. RECIDIVISM, SENSELESS ESCAPE ATTEMPTS SHORTLY BEFORE RELEASE, AND EVEN SUICIDE ARE COMMON BECAUSE PRISONERS HAVE BEEN CONDITIONED TO LIVE IN A PROTECTED STATE WHICH ENCOURAGES UNALTERABLE HABITS AND INFANTILE REGRESSION. A BRIEF BIBLIOGRAPHY IS SUPPLIED. --IN FRENCH. (KMD)
Index Term(s): Effects of imprisonment; Forensic psychiatry; Incarceration; Inmate attitudes; Inmate grievances; Psychological dependence
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=67325

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