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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74426 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Niches in Prison - Ameliorative Environments Within Maximum Security Correctional Institutions
Author(s): J Seymour
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 646
Sponsoring Agency: Lockheed Missile and Space Co
Sunnyvale, CA 94088
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice

US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 75-NI-99-0030; 78-NI-AX-0054
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Thesis/Dissertation
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This two-part dissertation explores the relationship between the environmental concerns expressed by men in prison and the characteristics of prison subsettings that prisoners percieved as meeting such concerns.
Abstract: This relationship is termed 'niche.' Interviews were conducted with 312 prisoners concerning the attributes of prison settings. The results suggest that prisoners with different social, cultural, and personal histories express different environmental concerns in prison and that particular configurations of prison work, program, and special living assignments are likely to be reported as 'niches' by prisoners than are others. While some classes of settings are disproportionately reported as stressful or as settings which facilitate access to contraband or power, other settings stand out as ameliorative. A typing of these perceptions, including the personal (environmental concern) and setting (physical characteristics) components of each, was performed. In addition, prisoner perceptions of several typical and atypical formal ameliorative prison settings were explored. These included a protection company; an elderly and handicapped unit; a unit for young, white prisoners; and a special unit for the emotionally disturbed. Case portraits of these units include descriptions of the settings, categorizations and typing of the positive and negative features of the settings, and population profiles. The efficacy of such settings in resolving prison problems and trade-offs which occur when prisoners are placed in them are discussed. Finally, strategies for the reduction of prison stress are reviewed. Sample interview responses, data tables, and footnotes with references are provided. Appendixes contain interview coding instructions; subenvironment, random, and formal-niche interview schedules; and information on missing data and on variable coding and classification. (Author abstract modified.)
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Correctional facilities; Inmate attitudes; Prison construction
Note: State University of New York at Albany - doctoral dissertation. Issued in two parts.
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