- 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 provides an overview of prison riots, the possible stages of a riot, and a historical account of the incidence of riots in the United States as well as cross-nationally since the early twentieth century (including finer discussions of the most serious riots and their implications). Theories of prison riots are presented and critiqued in terms of their applicability to the most serious riots in the past half-century. Within this discussion, attention is paid to how prison conditions might influence the chance of a prison riot. Actual riots develop in a dynamic relationship between rioting inmates and prison authorities and, as a result, pre-riot factors, such as inmate ideologies, can help explain the course of a riot but not completely. The essay concludes with a brief discussion of riot preparedness and effective guidelines for preventing the escalation of riots to the hostage stage.
Bert Useem PhD, is Professor of Sociology at Purdue University. He is the coauthor of three books that analyze the cause, course, and consequences of prison riots. Recent articles, in the American Journal of Sociology and American Sociological Review, with Jack Goldstone, develop the idea that theories of revolution can be used to explain prison riots.
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