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Hard Time: A Fresh Look at Understanding and Reforming the Prison, 4th Edition




Hard Time: A Fresh Look at Understanding and Reforming the Prison, 4th Edition

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Hard Time: A Fresh Look at Understanding and Reforming the Prison, 4th Edition, is a revised and updated version of the highly successful text addressing the origins, evolution, and promise of America’s penal system.

  • Draws from both ethnographic and professional material, and situates the prison experience within both contemporary and historical contexts
  • Features first person accounts from male and female inmates and staff, revealing what it’s actually like to live and work in prison
  • Includes all-new chapters on prison reform and on supermax correctional facilities, including the latest research on confinement, long-term segregation, and death row
  • Explores a wide range of topics, including the nature of prison as punishment; prisoner personality types and coping strategies; gang violence; prison officers’ custodial duties; and psychological, educational, and work programs 
  • Develops policy recommendations for the future based on qualitative and quantitative research and evidence-based initiatives

Foreword xi

Acknowledgments xvii

1 Crime, Prison, and the Case for Corrections 1

A Predilection for Prisons 4

Prison America 6

Incarcerating Men and Women of Color 7

No Escaping Prison 9

The Goals of Prison Punishment 12

A Case for Decent Prisons 16

Decent Prisons and Mature Coping 17

General Dynamics of Adjustment 21

Decent Prisons as a Human Right 23

Notes 25

References 30

2 Modern Prisons in Historical Context 35

American Prisons Before the Penitentiary 35

Penitentiaries 37

Models of Reformative Penitentiary Quarantine 39

Women and Minorities in the Penitentiary 41

The Southern Plantation Prison 42

Reformatories 44

The Big House 47

Women and Minorities in the Big House 48

The Big House: Repression and Its Discontents 49

The Decline of the Big House 52

The Correctional Institution 53

Models of Correctional Facilities 55

Prison Violence 58

Deinstitutionalization and the Increase in Mentally Ill Inmates 61

Supermax Prisons 62

Notes 65

References 71

3 the Pains of Modern Imprisonment 76

Pain Amelioration in Prisons: Three Stages 77

Living With Deprivation 79

Loss of Liberty 79

Deprivation of Autonomy 81

Deprivation of Goods and Services 83

Boredom 85

Deprivation of Heterosexual Contact 87

Missing Family 90

Disrespect 93

Deprivation of Security 96

Pain and Harm 99

Notes 103

References 107

4 Prisoner Deficits and Immature Coping 111

Immature Coping 112

Limited Cognitive and Interpersonal Skills 112

Denial 113

Poor Self-Control 114

Defective Socialization 115

Lack of Empathy 119

Prisoner Types 120

Predatory Convicts 120

State-Raised Convicts 121

Institutionalized Inmates 122

The Mentally Ill 124

Exceptions to Immature Coping: Square Johns and Long-Termers 126

Dysfunctional Adaptations to Imprisonment 128

Reconciling Public and Private Inmate Cultures 130

Notes 133

References 138

5 the Public Culture of the Prison: Violence 144

The Nature of Violent Prisoners 146

Predatory Convicts and State-Raised Youth 148

Gang Violence 150

Hypermasculinity in Prisons 152

Fear, Street Culture, and the Campaign for Respect 154

The Mentally Ill 159

The Nature of Violent Prisons 161

Violence Exacerbated By Prison Administration and Conditions 162

Relationships Between Inmates and Officers 163

Situational Violence 166

A Note on Violence in women’s Prisons 169

Notes 172

References 177

6 The Private Culture of the Prison: Living in Prison 182

Living in Prison 183

A Day in a Life in Prison 185

The Ecology of Prison Survival 189

Prison Life, Prison Niches 194

Types of Prison Niches 197

Coping Strategies for Living in Prison 209

General Coping Strategies 209

Coping Adaptations Unique to Prison 210

Coping Strategies for Lifers and Long-Termers 212

More Than Survival 216

Notes 219

References 225

7 Correctional Officers’ Public Custodial Agenda 230

Correctional Officer as Hack 231

The Persistent Image 231

Prevalence of Correctional Officer Violence 234

Nature of Prohibited Correctional Officer Violence 236

Nature of Prison-Sanctioned Correctional Officer Violence 240

Correctional Practices That Breed Violence 244

Stress, Alienation, and Burnout 250

Dimensions of Alienation 252

Causes of Stress in the Prison Workplace 258

Notes 261

References 266

8 Prison Officers’ Private Correctional Agenda 271

Providing Human Service 271

The Nature of Human Service 272

Typology of Correctional Officers as Agents of Care 275

Human Service Activities 277

Goods and Services 277

Referrals and Advocacy 278

Helping Prisoners Adjust and Solve Problems 279

Rule Enforcement as Human Service Work: Developing Relationships and Legitimacy 282

Collaboration in Helping 286

Human Service in Perspective 291

Notes 294

References 298

9 Supermax and the Overuse of Solitary Confinement 303

Living and Working in Supermax 304

Assessing the Efficacy of the Supermax Experiment 311

Do Supermax Prisons Meet Their Goals? 311

Supermax as a Shelter and a Place to Pause 314

Some Failures of Supermax 315

Getting Into Supermax 316

Contributing to a Cycle of Violence 323

Deterioration of Mental Health 327

Supermax as Anti-Rehabilitation and Anti-Public Safety 329

Moving Forward: the Devil is in the Details 330

Notes 335

References 341

10 Reform 346

Smarter Punishment, Better Prisons 348

Reforming Prison Ecology 350

Prison Programs and the Cultivation of Mature Coping 363

Getting Out and Staying Out 372

Transitional Support 373

Reconciliation 377

Notes 379

References 387

Afterword 397

Index 400