Prison Subculture is the culture of prison
society and thought by some to arise from the pains of imprisonment, while
others believe it is imported to the prison. Prison Subculture is also known as the
The prisonization model postulates that inmates react or
adapt to the deprivations of imprisonment by forming the inmate subculture and behaving
Subculture refers to group that shares common values,
Prison subculture refers to inmate code.
Process of taking on norms and customs of prisons is
Some of the features of prison subculture are:
a) do not inform on your
b) do not trust staff,
c) help other residents,
d) show your loyalty to other
e) share what you have.
The first models of the prison subculture, such as those
purported by Clemmer and Sykes, were rooted in the structural-functionalist paradigm of
criminological thought. Alternative explanations, such as the importation model developed
by Irwin theorize that the subculture of prison may not be centered around common norms
and values. Recent attempts have been made to integrate these perspectives. Does
integration have theoretical explanatory power when examining the contemporary prison
subculture? Can an integrated approach inform penologists as to how females serve time?
The present paper seeks to answer these questions. - Theoretical Studies of the
Prison Subculture: Contemporary Explanations for Female Inmates. - Courtney A. Waid,
Florida State University
Inmate Argot as an Expression of Prison
Subculture: The Israeli Case - Tomer Einat, Haim Einat, Hebrew University of
Jerusalem - The study examines the argot (jargon) of prisoners as a reflection of the
norms and values comprising the inmate subculture in Israeli prisons. The phenomenological
interview method was used to examine the language of a sample of long-term prisoners for
the existence of an inmate argot. Having established that such an argot does exist, the
data was subjected to a content analysis and the salience of the argot terms assessed
using two measures, attention and intensity. The argot expressions were divided into
categories with reference to different aspects of prison experience: prisoner status
(informers, inmate rank), drugs, sexual relations in prison, violence, prisoner behaviors,
nicknames for police officers, and prison staff.
Prison Subculture in Poland - Marek M. Kamiski, Don C.
Gibbons - This article draws on the prison experiences in Poland of the senior author
to identify some of the major ingredients of the prison subculture in that country. The
dominant inmate pattern of grypsing is described, as is the physical environment of Polish
prisons. This article also examines "prisonization" processes and the norms of
the grypsing group. Some contrasts between American and Polish prisons are also noted.
The (post)-soviet prison subculture faced with the use of self-management doctrines by the
corrections administration - This article on the post-soviet prison subculture shows the
connection between the establishment of new informal rules in prisons and changes in the
means of submission used by penitentiary institutions under Khrushchev, as well as the
influence of the main principles of Anton Makarenkos collective pedagogics on the
above-mentioned means. Analytically, the article is focussed on different forms of the
public sphere which can exist in prison environments. Special emphasis is laid on the
importance of the historical approach in understanding the present situation in
post-soviet penitentiaries. - Abstract
Forecasting Sexual Abuse in Prison: The Prison Subculture of Masculinity as a Backdrop for
"Deliberate Indifference" - Christopher D. Man, John P. Cronan - Journal of
Criminal Law and Criminology (1973-), Vol. 92, No. 1/2 (Autumn, 2001 - Winter, 2002),
Intraprison HIV Transmission and the Prison Subculture - Christopher P.
Krebs, Research Triangle Institute - Two theoretical models have been employed to explain
the prison subculture and inmate behavior. Prisonization model postulates that inmates
react/adapt to the deprivations of imprisonment by forming the inmate subculture and
behaving accordingly. Importation model contends that inmates import their social system
with them when they enter prison. While these models have traditionally competed for
support, a number of researchers have called for theoretical integration and have
successfully documented its appropriateness. In this study of intraprison HIV
transmission, the theoretical models are tested in the context of behaviors that
facilitate HIV transmission in prison, namely, sex, intravenous drug use, and tatooing.
Support for prisonization and importation, however, is not uniformly distributed across
all three high-risk behaviors. While both models explain high-risk HIV transmission
behavior in general, certain behaviors are explained largely by individual models. Prison
sex appears to be largely the result of prisonization (deprivation of heterosexual
relationships), whereas intravenous drug use seems to be largely a product of importation.
While theoretical integration has its place in explaining the universe of inmate behavior
and the prison subculture, wholesale integration may not be necessary when attempting to
explain specific behaviors.