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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 91662 Find in a Library
Title: Crime Site Selection for Assaults in Four Florida Prisons
Journal: Prison Journal  Volume:63  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring/Summer 1983)  Pages:59-72
Author(s): R Atlas
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 14
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: This empirical study of the relationship between architectural factors and the incidence of inmate violence found that the housing area was the most frequent site for assaults.
Abstract: Four Florida prisons were selected for study. Data included official disciplinary reports of violence and inmates' perceptions of violence and safety. A violent environment questionnaire was developed and administered to inmates and key members of the correctional staff to elicit their perceptions of the degree of violence, privacy, and safety within the prison. The study hypothesized that assaults would occur more frequently in areas of poor surveillance, such as stairwells, bathrooms, and architectural 'blind spots.' It was further predicted that sexual assaults would be more frequent in open-dorm housing. Results indicated that at all four prisons, the prime site for assaults, particularly armed assaults, was the housing area, whether dorms, six-man cells, two-man cells, or single cells. Support spaces such as showers, baths, and dayrooms were the sites of the next largest number of assaults. A surprising finding was the frequency of assaults that occurred under direct staff supervision. It was as if the inmates' actions were a dare for official action. There appears to be no ideal type of prison design that solves the problem of violence, but reducing the 'blind spots,' such as deadend corridors and stairwells, and increasing good sight lines will help in the more efficient supervision and control of those spaces. Tabular data and 15 bibliographic entries are provided.
Index Term(s): Architectural design; Florida; Prison disorders; Violent inmates
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