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Prisonization in the Inmate Contraculture

Charles W. Thomas and Samuel C. Foster
Social Problems
Vol. 20, No. 2 (Autumn, 1972), pp. 229-239
DOI: 10.2307/799616
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/799616
Page Count: 11
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Prisonization in the Inmate Contraculture
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Abstract

This study, based on data obtained from a sample of 276 adult male felons confined in a maximum-security penitentiary, provides a test of the implications of a theoretical model that links levels of prisonization to the expected consequences of that process that appear to inhibit the attainment of any prosocial changes in the world-views of the inmates. In addition, the study provides a partial test of what have become defined as the importation and deprivation models of prisonization. The findings suggest that prisonization in the context of this maximum security institution does have negative consequences for both the prison organization and the long-term life chances of the inmates. Further, and of equal theoretical importance, the data show that the closed-system paradigm characteristic of the deprivation model is inadequate for explanations of either prisonization or the consequence of that process.

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