Women's Styles of Doing Time and Their Adjustment in Two Different Prison Settings

Candace Kruttschnitt, University of Minnesota
Rosemary Gartner, University of Toronto
Kristin C. Carbone, University of Minnesota

The classic research on the social organization and culture of the inmate community conceptualized the inmate society as an adaptation to a total institution. Researchers were concerned with how both inmate characteristics and organizational features of prisons fashioned a set of responses to prison regimes that simply made life more tolerable for inmates and facilitated their adjustment. While research on prisoner adjustment has continued the classic tradition of considering the contribution of individual and environmental characteristics to prisoner adjustment, the inmate society has disappeared as an important component of understanding prison misbehavior, mental health and other indicators of adjustment. This paper draws from both of these traditions to study women's adjustment to imprisonment. Its purpose is (1) to reveal the different types of adaptations women use today to manage their carceral lives; and (2) to explore how these adaptations are related to self-reports of prison misbehavior, mental health, and program participation within and across different prison environments.

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Updated 05/20/2006