ERIC Number: ED327883
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Nov-20
Reference Count: N/A
A Captive Audience: Debating in a Maximum Security Prison.
Logue, Brenda J.
Towson State University (TSU) conducted a public debate series within the Maryland State Penitentiary, that state's maximum security lockup. Following delays due to an escape and subsequent lockdown that preceded the first scheduled debates, the prison program began in 1983 with TSU students debating the right to privacy. The continuing prison debate series was subjected to the interpretive approach of account analysis. Student debaters and inmate observers were asked such questions as why they took part, what benefits they received, whether the program should continue, and how the prison debates compared to other debating experiences. Students mostly felt that the debates occurred simply because TSU was asked to stage them. The consensus of the prisoners was that the debates offered something to do. Debaters found value in being able to enter the prison and view the inmates. The students felt that the program should continue, and many rated the program highly among their forensic experiences. Such an account analysis approach to research into debating programs may help program directors uncover what participants view as the values of audience debate, and enable the directors to confirm or negate what they surmise to be benefits. (SG)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Debate Tournaments; Maryland State Penitentiary; Maximum Security Facilities; Towson State University MD
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (75th, San Francisco, CA, November 18-21, 1989).