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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91661 Find in a Library
Title: Quicksand Prison
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:63  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring/Summer 1983)  Pages:47-58
Author(s): P W Keve
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Prison designers and administrators should be aware that the prison environment as well as inmate characteristics can foster violent behavior, so an effort must be made to determine what environmental characteristics of prisons fuel violent behavior and take steps to correct them within the limits of custodial demands.
Abstract: Although some persons arrive in prison with prior histories of violent behavior, the prison environment and inmate subculture tends to reinforce such behavior and foster emotional dynamics conducive to violence by those with little prior history of it. In depriving persons of relationships and activities that foster self-esteem and forcing them to live in dehumanizing conditions, self-worth deteriorates and a sense of powerlessness intensifies. These conditions tend to foster violent behavior as an expression of personal power to counter feelings of being worthless within almost every normative structure for human achievement. Prison overcrowding also exacerbates other factors influencing prison violence. The concept of the 'open' prison developed by Norval Morris promises to create an environment that will help reduce violent behavior. Operating within a tight perimeter, the open prison provides for a generous freedom of movement within the perimeter. The open prison concept also provides for representatives of the outside community to come into the prison to interact with the inmates and help structure opportunities for achievement and development that enhance self-esteem. Twenty-four footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Effects of imprisonment; Open prisons; Prison disorders; Riot prevention; Violence; Violent inmates
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