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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 72362 Find in a Library
Title: Female Prisoners and the Inmate Code
Journal: Pacific Sociological Review  Volume:23  Issue:1  Dated:(January 1980)  Pages:85-104
Author(s): T F Hartnagel; M E Gillan
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 20
Sponsoring Agency: Alberta Dept of Corrections
Alberta, Canada
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Research was conducted among female prisoners of two mixed-custody grade institutions in Canada to evaluate the deprivation and importation models as explanations of the prisonization process.
Abstract: The deprivation model focuses on prison-specific factors, while the importation model refers to personal characteristics inmates bring with them into prison life. Using data on personal characteristics and criminal history collected from questionnaires and prison records on 98 female prisoners, multiple regression and path analytic techniques were employed to test the assimilation of female inmates into the informal prisoner normative system. Results showed neither model receiving unqualified support, although the importation model seemed more conducive to the adoption of the inmate behavior code. The two variables with the largest effects on code adherence--age and prior imprisonment--are both imported characteristics, and, as the importation model predicts, their effects are largely direct and unmediated by other factors. Furthermore, the two sets of imported characteristics--personal characteristics and criminal history--account for about 43 percent of the explained variation in adoption of the inmate code. However, not all of the data are supportive of the importation model. Therefore, a combination of variables from both models offers the best prediction. Thus, regression analysis results suggest that younger inmates, married inmates, and those with previous imprisonment bring to the prison a set of values supportive of the informal inmate normative system. For these inmates, adoption of the inmate code represents a continuation within the prison of previous socialization experiences. But the indigenous or deprivation variables of time served and staff friends also directly affect adoption of the inmate code. These results are compared with those of previous research and discrepant findings due to methodological differences are discussed. One figure, three data tables, and thirty references are provided.
Index Term(s): Canada; Female inmates; Inmate attitudes; Prisonization; Women's correctional institutions
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