Institutional, Individual, and Subjective Experiences as Predictors of Prison Misconduct

Andrew L. Hochstetler, Iowa State University
Matt DeLisi, Iowa State University

Debate over whether prison behavior is a reflection of inmate characteristics upon entry or of prison conditions has been settled by compromise. In recent years, the discussion takes place only in criminology textbooks. The debate is no less theoretically or practically important and many questions surrounding the transference of extra-institutional characteristics into prisons remain unanswered. This paper draws on data collected from 209 male parolees in a Mid-Western state to test a developmental, path model of prison behavior using inmate characteristics and objective and subjective institutional variables. Preliminary results indicate that inmate characteristics predict exposure to situations, particularly participation in the inmate economy, that contribute to offending in prison.

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Updated 05/20/2006