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Prison Culture - Essay Example

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This essay will discuss the inmate subculture and how it is developed, the norms and values, social structure and the prison argot that exists in prisons.
Inmate subculture
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Prison Culture

The inmate subculture shows the lives of inmates but it varies from one prison institution to another (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2009). Being deviants in society, the inmate subculture is often not in accordance with the values of society and is opposed to institutional rules. What may be regarded as deviant behavior and unacceptable in the free world is encouraged and rewarded inside prison walls (Clemmer, 1940) There are two theories that explain the formation of an inmate subculture (Schmalleger & Smykla, 2009). The first is the deprivation theory which states that the inmate culture is formed in response to the deprivations in prison life. The deprivations experienced by inmates are those of deprivation of liberty, autonomy and security, deprivation from the use of goods and services, and deprivation of heterosexual relationships (Sykes, 1958). The other theory is the importation theory which maintains that the inmates bring with them their subculture from the outside world. There are different types of inmate subculture as discussed by Irwin and Cressey (1962). ... Read More
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