Inmates' Responses to Incarceration: An Inter-Gender Analysis

Monica Solinas, University of Pittsburgh

This research focuses upon the lives of inmates and whether inmates' adaptation to the prison system differs by demographic characteristics, personal background and pre-prison experiences. The importation model shows that gender, race, age, and class are very important predictors in the analysis of inmates' adaptation to prison. However, this explorative work shows that gender is the most significant variable in the analysis of inmates' prison experiences. Multivariate statistical analysis of the data set "Survey of Inmates of Federal and State Correctional Facilities, 1997" shows that women adapt to the prison disciplinary regime far better than men. The aim of this research is to explain how inmates carry their background to the prison and they tend to reproduce the outside gender role expectations within the prison. The comparison between men and women prisoners aims to point out that women differ from men in their background and pre-prison experiences. hence their adaptation and integration in the prison system are very different from one another. This might suggest that prison programs, institutional organization, type of resources available, and rules of the disciplinary regime should also differentiate between female and male incarceration.

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Updated 05/20/2006