Correlates of Prison Infractions in North Carolina

Rachel Hagewen, North Carolina State University

This paper focuses on what influences whether or not an inmate will misbehave at the individual level and if commonalities exist among those imates who do misbehave. I use logistic regression models to analyze prison data obtained from North Carolina's correctional facilities from July 1997 to June 1998. The majority of the findings yielded in the present study fall in line with those of previous studies of prison infractions. However, there are some notable exceptions in regard to the effects of race and gender on inmate misbehavior. While most research has found blacks and males are more likely to break prison rules compared to non-blacks and females, the present analysis shows that the effects of both race and gender are conditional, and are reduced to insignificance with the inclusion of other control variables. Implications of the findings and directions for further research are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006