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NCJ Number: 97438 Find in a Library
Title: Social Climate and Prison Violence (From Prison Violence in America, P 37-46, 1985, Michael Braswell et al, ed. - See NCJ-97435)
Author(s): H Toch
Date Published: 1985
Page Count: 10
Sponsoring Agency: Anderson Publishing Co
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Sale Source: Anderson Publishing Co
Publicity Director
2035 Reading Road
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues for a context-centered view of prison violence believed to offer more positive programming options than those conventionally envisaged.
Abstract: The context-centered view of prison violence is noted to hold that violence is at least partly a product of the prison environment, which implies that prison violence can be prevented by reducing opportunities for aggression rather than by trying to influence the motives and dispositions of inmates. The advent of the contextual view is discussed, and violence-relevant contextual stimuli are defined. For instance, any prison setting in which inmates spend a significant portion of time is shown to have behavior-relevant stimuli for various inmates. Examples identify climate features which played a part in the onset of violence. The need to examine the situational context in victimization incidents is highlighted. In addition, the possibility of reducing the number of violent incidents through contextual interventions is explored. The contextual facilitation of violence in prison is shown to occur in several ways. For example, violence is encouraged through the provision of immunity or protection; through the provision of opportunities for violence; and through the provision of temptations, challenges, and provocations. Research into the reasons for violent incidents if recommended, as is the creation of support systems for victims and potential victims. Finally, the need to help inmates and staff in high-violence settings to address their own violence problems is emphasized. Eight references are included.
Index Term(s): Effects of imprisonment; Institutional violence; Prison disorders; Riot causes; Riot prevention; Social conditions; Violence; Violence causes; Violent inmates
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