Ch 11: The Prison Experience, Ch 12: Incarceration of Women, Ch 13: Institutional Management, Ch 14: Institutional Programs


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  • inmate code

    A set of rules of conduct that reflect the values and norms of the prison social system and help define for inmates of the model prisoner.


    The process by which a new inmate absorbs the customs of prison society and learns to adapt to the environment.

    unit management

    Tactic for reducing prison violence by dividing facilities into small, self-contained, semiautonomous "institutions."

    Elizabeth Gurney Fry (1780-1845)

    Born in Norwich, England,
    Elizabeth Fry was second
    only to John Howard as a
    nineteenth-century advocate of
    prison reform in Europe. In 1817
    she helped organize the Association
    for the Improvement of
    Female Prisoners in Newgate,
    then the main prison in London.
    This group, made up of wives of
    Quaker businessmen, worked
    to establish prison discipline,
    separation of the sexes, classification
    of criminals, female
    supervision for women inmates,
    adequate religious and secular
    instruction, and the useful employment
    of prisoners. Largely
    through her efforts, such reforms
    rapidly moved to other prisons
    in England and abroad.

    Mary Belle Harris (1874-1957)

    Born in Pennsylvania, Mary
    Belle Harris is chiefly known as
    the first warden of the Federal
    Institution for Women. She
    began her work in corrections
    in 1914 when she became the
    superintendent of the Women's
    Workhouse on Blackwell Island,
    New York City. She worked to
    create classification systems,
    developed educational programs,
    and pushed for intermediate
    sentences and parole.
    These aims were incorporated
    into the programs at Alderson,
    which soon became a national

    administrative control theory

    governance theory which posits
    that prison disorder results from
    unstable, divided, or otherwise
    weak management.

    boundary violations

    that blurs, minimizes, or disrupts
    the social distance between
    prison staff and inmates, resulting
    in violations of departmental

    chain of command

    A series of
    organizational positions in order
    of authority, with each person
    receiving orders from the one
    immediately above and issuing
    orders to the one(s) immediately

    coercive power

    The ability
    to obtain compliance by the
    application or threat of physical


    Obedience to an
    order or request.

    formal organization

    A structure
    established for influencing
    behavior to achieve particular

    inmate balance theory

    governance theory which posits
    that for a prison system to
    operate effectively, officials must
    tolerate minor infractions, relax
    security measures, and allow
    inmate leaders to keep order.

    line personnel

    Employees who
    are directly concerned with
    furthering the institution's goals
    and who are in direct contact
    with clients.

    normative power

    The ability
    to obtain compliance by
    manipulating symbolic rewards.

    remunerative power

    ability to obtain compliance in
    exchange for material resources.

    span of control

    A management
    principle holding that a
    supervisor can effectively
    oversee only a limited number of

    staff personal

    Employees who
    provide services in support of
    line personnel; examples of
    staff personnel include training
    officers and accountants.

    unity of command

    management principle holding
    that a subordinate should report
    to only one supervisor.

    behavior theory

    that induces new behaviors
    through reinforcements (rewards
    and punishments), role modeling,
    and other active forms of

    civil disabilities

    Legal restrictions
    that prevent released felons
    from voting and holding elective
    office, engaging in certain
    professions and occupations, and
    associating with known offenders.


    A process by which
    prisoners are assigned to types
    of custody and treatment.

    cognitive skill building

    form of behavior therapy that
    focuses on changing the thinking
    and reasoning patterns that
    accompany criminal behavior.

    confrontation therapy

    treatment technique, usually done
    in a group, that vividly brings
    the offender face-to-face with
    the crime's consequences for the
    victim and society.

    cost-benefit ratio

    A summary
    measure of the value of a
    correctional program in saving
    money through preventing new

    criminogenic needs

    Needs that,
    when successfully addressed by
    treatment programs, result in
    lower rates of recidivism.

    hepatitis C

    A disease of the liver
    that reduces the effectiveness of
    the body's system of removing

    piece price system

    A labor
    system under which a contractor
    provided raw materials and
    agreed to purchase goods made
    by prison inmates at a set price.

    principle of least eligibility

    doctrine that prisoners ought to
    receive no goods or services
    in excess of those available to
    people who have lived within
    the law.

    prison program

    Any formal,
    structured activity that takes
    prisoners out of their cells and
    sets them to instrumental tasks.


    n generic terms,
    all forms of "treatment of the
    mind"; in the prison setting, this
    treatment is coercive in nature.

    psychotropic medications

    treatments designed to lessen
    the severity of symptoms of
    psychological illness.

    public account system

    A labor
    system under which a prison
    bought machinery and raw
    materials with which inmates
    manufactured a salable product.

    public works and ways system

    A labor system under which
    prison inmates work on public
    construction and maintenance

    reality therapy

    that emphasizes personal
    responsibility for actions and
    their consequences.

    social therapy

    that attempts to create an
    institutional environment that
    supports prosocial attitudes and

    state-use system

    A labor system
    under which goods produced by
    prison industries are purchased
    by state institutions and agencies
    exclusively and never enter the
    free market.

    therapeutic community

    A prison
    environment where every aspect
    of the prison is designed to
    promote prosocial attitudes and

    transactional analysis

    that focuses on patterns of
    interaction with others, especially
    patterns that indicate personal

    vocational rehabilitation

    Prison programming designed
    to teach inmates cognitive and
    vocational skills to help them find
    employment upon release.

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