The Prisonization Effect: Recidivism & The Revolving Door

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					           Attica Prison – Attica, New York (Source: Insideprison.Com)
 “The term prisonization refers to the longer inmates are
  incarcerated, the stronger their identification with inmate norms
  and values, and the more difficulty they would have adjusting to
  life once released.”       -Dr. Dennis J. Stevens
                                                              Prisonization is dependent on two
                                                            different factors: #1 – The physical
                                                            institutional features of a prison
                                                            effect the inmates ability to adapt to
                                                            prison life. In the case of Stateville’s
                                                            “Roundhouse” design, prisoners are
                                                            watched all at once.




   (Source: NationalGeographic.Com)
  #2 – The individual characteristics of the
offender also effects how he or she adapts to
prison life. i.e. Drug use, anti-social behavior
etc. Often times overcrowding and other
agitating features such as those in California
State Prison, become normal inhibitors that
speed up the prisonization process.
                    -Wayne Gillespie Scholarly Publishing     (Source: http://www.cdcr.ca.gov)
                                                                    “Mock prison riot quelled”
 Indigenous Influence Theory:
    The first theory, or indigenous influence
  theory, proposes that because of the lack of
  liberties given to inmates, the subculture
  of the prison environment develops.

  Also known as the deprivation model.
                                                                                  (Source: PopSci.Com)
 Cultural Drift Theory:                                     “Confiscated Knives, Pelican Bay State Prison”

    The second theory, or cultural drift
  theory, states that inmates bring with
  them certain characteristics, either
  positive or negative such as social
  misbehavior or violent tendencies,
  into the prison environment. This
  creates a “street” atmosphere within
  the prison itself. -Wayne Gillespie Scholarly Publishing                        (Source: Sfbappa.Org)
                                                             Out of 55 Federal prison inmates with little to no
                                                           prior experience (New), and 93 inmates with at least
                                                           one prior adult incarceration and 5 or more years in
                                                           prison (Experienced), the criminal identity in both
                                                           groups are tested using the Psychological Inventory
                                                           of Criminal Thinking Styles (PICTS).




         (Source: Stileproject.Com)
    Results conclude that a rise in criminal thinking
  among new inmates from the time of initial
  assessment until that of follow-up were observed
  while inmates with experience in prison time
  remained stable. Other conclusions also report
  significant gains of criminal action from experienced
  inmates when confronted with new inmates.
(Source: Glenn D. Walters, Federal Correction Institution, Sagepub.Com)   (Source: Insidesocal.Com)
                                                                 Both prisonization and
                                                               recidivism can be seen as if they
                                                               were effects of external,
                                                               generally social influences
                                                               which act upon the offender.
                                                                However, internal motivations
                                                               must also be considered a variable.
                                                                 Chronic offenders often times
                                                               have “unconscious” motivators.
                                                               This splits perceptions of social
   Reeves Prison Uprising        (Source: Wordpress.Com)       reality into two parts. One being
                                                               affection, and the other aggressive.
  The result is an unconscious interaction between certain aspects of the prison
environment and varying personality and social disorders that are commonly
associated with pathological symptoms. This may involuntarily promote certain
rebellious feelings of a criminal mentality and appeal to inmates with antisocial
tendencies. The adapted subculture of the prison environment accelerates
recidivism rates and promotes criminal activity. (Source: Paul Hofer, United States Penitentiary,
                                                             Sagepub.com)
                                 (Source: Wordpress.Com)

                                                              Millions of women and children
                                                            of those incarcerated are subjected
                                                            to the Criminal Justice system when
                                                            visiting their friends or family in
                                                            prison. Especially poor minorities.

                                                              Often times, these women
                                                            experience restricted rights,
                                                            diminished resources, social
                                                            discrimination, and other
                                                            consequences of corrective
      Visiting Room L.A. County, Sybil Brand Institute      procedure.
      Women’s Jail in Monterey Park


  The “pains” of imprisonment are                  By having constant contact with the
felt, often times, just as harshly as            correctional system, its in this way that
those in prison itself.                          a “secondary prisonization” occurs.
                                           Of the 272,111 persons released from prisons in 15
                                           States in 1994, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested
                                           for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years,
                                           46.9% were reconvicted, and 25.4% were resentenced
                                           to prison for a new crime.

                                           Within 3 years of release, 2.5% of released rapists
                                           were rearrested for another rape, and 1.2% of those
                                           who had served time for homicide were arrested for a
                                           new homicide.

                                           Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex
                                           offenders to be rearrested for any offense. 43
                                           percent of sex offenders versus 68 percent of non-
                                           sex offenders.

                                           Sex offenders were about four times more likely
                                           than non-sex offenders to be arrested for another
The 272,111 offenders discharged in 1994   sex crime after their discharge from prison. 5.3
accounted for nearly 4,877,000 arrest      percent of sex offenders versus 1.3 percent of non-
charges over their recorded careers.       sex offenders.

                          (Source: http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov)
                                                                              In 1971, there was a study done
                                                                            on 276 adult male felons from a
                                                                            maximum security penitentiary.
                                                                              The purpose of the study was to
                                                                            test the viability of two available
                                                                            theories. The “deprivation model”,
                                                                            as mentioned before, and the
                                                                            “importation model”.
                                                                              The importation model states
                                                                            that intra-institutional processes
                                                                            and influences are vital but also
                                                                            accepts the idea that outside
                                                                            influences also come into play and
                                                                            that many of these instances are
   Observation of a chain gang                 (Source: Abc.net.au)         out of correctional officers control.
Factors that were observed:
   Social classes of origin, social class of attainment, pre-prison involvement in criminality, extent of
 contact with society during his or her confinement, and the inmates specific perceptions of their post-
 prison lives.                         Result:
Then correlated with:                      A conceptualized version of the Importation model succeeds over
   The measure of prisonization.         the deprivation model. Is an overemphasis on intra-institutional
                                         causation misleading?     (Source: Charles W. Thomas, Department of
                                                                 Sociology, Virginia Commonwealth Univ.)

				
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Description: A simple introduction to the effects of long or even short term imprisonment. Recidivism and the revolving door are also discussed in detail.