Experiential Orientations To The Prison Experience: The Case of First-time, Short-Term Inmates
Emerald (JAI Press)
Perspectives on Social Problems
Original Item ID
This paper offers a new perspective on the "prisonization" experience by focusing on the processes through which first time, short-term inmates come to know, and act in, their prison worlds. The study is based on participant observation and interviewing in a men's maximum security prison. We discuss inmates' evolving perceptions and definitions of prison life as they enter, endure, then exit the prison, noting the changing imagery of the prison over the course of their sentences. We analyze inmates' adaptations to incarceration at various stages of their sentence in terms of experiential orientations to prison life and the practical problems and concerns that dominate inmates' everyday lives.