- Series Information
- The Oxford Handbook of Prisons and Imprisonment
- List of Contributors
- The Imprisonment Boom of the Late Twentieth Century: Past, Present, and Future
- Who Goes to Prison?
- Mass Incarceration and Conditions of Confinement
- Exploring Imprisonment across Cross-National Contexts
- Theories of Mass Incarceration
- Subcultural Adaptations to Incarceration
- The Real Gangbanging Is in Prison
- Women in Prison
- Impact of Incarceration on Families and Communities
- The Two Cultures: Correctional Officers and Key Differences in Institutional Climate
- Measuring and Explaining Inmate Misconduct
- Prison Riots
- Drugs and Prisons
- A General Model of Harm in Correctional Settings
- Understanding the Contours of Prison Disciplinary Procedures
- The Effects of Administrative Segregation: A Lesson in Knowledge Cumulation
- A Comparison of British and American Policies for Managing Dangerous Prisoners: A Question of Legitimacy
- Adult Offender Assessment and Classification in Custodial Settings
- Principles of Effective Intervention with Incarcerated Offenders
- Employment and Vocation Programs in Prison
- Treating Sex Offenders in Prison
- The Multiple Faces of Reentry
- Implementing Prison-based Treatment Programs
- Preventing Suicide in Detention and Correctional Facilities
- Offenders with Mental Illness in Prison
- The Problem of Incarcerating Juveniles with Adults
- The Effect of Prisons on Crime
- Private Prisons in a New Environment
- Policy and Program Innovations in Prisons
- Useful versus Harmful Prison Policies
Abstract and Keywords
This essay discusses the evolution of the understanding of inmate subcultures in US prisons. It provides a selective description of historically and geographically specific “models” of inmate subcultures, both to highlight the range of social and subcultural arrangements in prisons and to explain why such variation exists and what questions should be asked of any descriptive account of the prisoner social world. Emphasis is placed on the heterogeneity of institutional forms and the subcultures that exist within them. How subcultures are shaped by broader institutional aims, conditions, and practices is discussed with comparisons of prisons in Great Britain and the United States. An alternative framework through which to think about inmate subcultures is needed, whose starting point is the way that any institution deals with the issues of power, order, and governance that are essential to all prisons and set the conditions for prisoners‘ adaptations and social practices.
Ben Crewe PhD, is Reader in Penology and Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. He is currently leading a European Research Council funded study titled ‘Penal Policymaking and the Prisoner Experience: A Comparative Analysis.’ Ben is on the editorial board of the British Journal of Criminology, Palgrave Communications, and the Prison Service Journal. He is an International Associate Board member of Punishment and Society, and is one of the series editors of Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology (with Yvonne Jewkes and Thomas Ugelvik).
Ben Laws is a doctoral candidate in his third year, supervised by Dr Ben Crewe, in the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge. Over the past year he has been collecting data for his ESRC funded study of prisoner emotion (titled: ‘Emotions in prison: an exploration of space, emotion regulation and expression’). He has been investigating the ways in which prisoners regulate and express their emotions under conditions of confinement by using a combination of research methods (through semi-structured interviews and prisoner shadowing). He hopes that his findings will help us to learn more about the emotional ‘survivability’ of different prisons and to assist management and practitioners to ensure that prisons are positive, secure and safe environments for managing offenders.
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