ERIC Number: ED249544
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
The Nature, Function, and Impact of Inmate Communication Patterns in a Maximum Security Prison.
Van Voorhis, Patricia
To determine the areas in which communication affects prison environments and prison inmates, interviews were conducted with 21 adult male inmates shortly after their admission into a federal maximum security institution. The interviews were semistructured, addressing such issues as (1) perceptions of fellow inmates and staff; (2) additional perceptions of the prison environment; (3) accounts of the conviction offense and prior offenses; (4) relationships with family and friends outside of the institution; (5) orientation to feelings of anger, fear, nervousness, and depression; (6) drug and alcohol history; (7) school and work history; and (8) plans for the future. All but one subject reported previous experiences in correctional institutional settings resulting from prior adult or juvenile offenses. Ten of the 21 inmates were white and 11 were black. Due to overcrowded conditions, all subjects were double bunking. Responses revealed a reluctance to bring problems and other personal issues to their inmate peers or staff. For many of the men, background fostered and even sanctioned violent modes of expression. Problems with underassertiveness and overassertiveness were also apparent. Moreover, many of the men revealed a pattern of having invested considerable time in the acquisition of unrespected and often unliked associates, a pattern which in turn appears to have perpetuated a lifestyle of crime. (HOD)
Descriptors: Adjustment (to Environment), Affective Behavior, Communication Problems, Communication Research, Correctional Institutions, Emotional Adjustment, Emotional Problems, Environmental Influences, Interpersonal Relationship, Interviews, Peer Influence, Peer Relationship, Perception, Prisoners
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).