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Inmate Adjustment to Prison (From American Prison: Issues in Research and Policy, P 229-251, 1989, Lynne Goodstein and Doris Layton MacKenzie, eds. -- See NCJ-120304)

NCJ Number
L Goodstein; K N Wright
Date Published
23 pages
This chapter reviews work produced within the past several decades on inmate adjustment to prison, focusing on conditions of incarceration and individual inmate characteristics that influence adjustment patterns.
The discussion indicates that modes of adjustment to confinement differ widely across individuals, groups, and prison types. In contrast to early work, which focused on the adverse effects of imprisonment, this chapter presents a balanced view of inmate adjustment. The data do not show widespread deterioration or criminalization due to confinement. Rather, most inmates desire to use their confinement constructively, and some may succeed. Understanding the possibilities for facilitating successful adjustment among a greater number of inmates requires a shift of perspective. Rather than focusing on individual personality characteristics or group interactions, prison administrators should address the physical features of the prison environment. 118 references.


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