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Captives of the “Society of Captives”: Working in Solitary Confinement

NCJ Number
Prison Journal Volume: 103 Issue: 4 Dated: 2023 Pages: 513-540
Date Published
28 pages

This study examines how working in solitary confinement situations affects prison personnel.


Drawing on Sykes’ classic, The society of captives, on the “pains of imprisonment,” the authors of this study argue that solitary confinement work may adversely affect correctional personnel. This study extends prior work on deprivation theory, solitary confinement, and research on work in prison by testing this argument through analyses of qualitative data. The authors find that those who work in solitary confinement units report deprivations analogous to what incarcerated persons experience. The article concludes with a call for expanding theoretical and empirical research on solitary confinement and the impacts of contemporary penal practices. Solitary confinement may affect incarcerated persons. Yet, what is known about those who work in solitary confinement units? (Published Abstract Provided

Date Published: January 1, 2023