Doing Time: Prison Experience and Identity Among First-time Inmates

Doing Time: Prison Experience and Identity Among First-time Inmates



Doing Time describes life in a maximum security prison, as experienced by first-time prisoners. The study is based on a collaboration between an inmate-sociology graduate student and a sociologist. The analysis presented focuses on the phenomenological experience of the prison world and the consequent adaptations and transformations that it evokes. Doing Time is not an expose on prison conditions; it is an intimate view of a maximum security prison and its effects on new inmates.



Publication Date



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Stamford, CT


Prisoners-- United States, Imprisonment-- United States, Prison Physchology


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


Table of Contents

Ch. I. Introduction. Prison as a Social World. The Phenomenology of Prison Experience. Plan of the Book

Ch. II. Midwestern State Prison. Facilities, Programs, and Services. Arrival, Processing and Orientation

Ch. III. Experiential Orientations to Prison. The Social Marginality of New Inmates. Prison Orientations: Images and Problems. Preprison Orientation. Prison Orientation. Postprison Orientation

Ch. IV. Preprison Orientation: From the Outside Looking In. Preparing for Prison. Image Construction. Identity Work. Anticipatory Survival Strategy. Arrival and Early Experiences. Arrival. The First Week. Imagery Modification. Survival Strategy. Interpreting Prison: The Interplay of Imagery and Strategy. Social Marginality. Identity Work. Outside Contacts

Ch. V. Prison Orientation: From Violence to Boredom. Revising the Prison Image Through Direct Experience. Sentence Milestones: Challenges and Opportunities. Evolution of Inmates' Survival Tactics

Doing Time: Prison Experience and Identity Among First-time Inmates