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Enforcing the Convict Code: Violence and Prison Culture

NCJ Number
Rebecca Trammell
Date Published
166 pages
This book examines the problem of violence in prisons and the prison culture.
The author of this book used qualitative data collected in 2005 and 2006 in California to examine how former inmates understand and explain prison violence and inmate culture. The author conducted interviews with former inmates to allow them to explain in their own words the social context of prison violence. The former male inmates indicated that they preferred to be segregated by race and that they used violence in prison instrumentally, as a way to maintain norms and gain power. The book is divided into seven chapters. Chapter 1: Violence Behind Bars, presents an overview of the problem of violence in prisons and the author's methodology for obtaining information for the book. Chapter 2: Prison Culture, explores prison culture from the perspective of former inmates. Chapter 3: Race and Gangs, examines race relations in California prisons. Chapter 4: Gender, Sex, and Rape, discusses how former inmates describe sex and rape in prison, while chapter 5: Interpersonal Conflict, the former inmates describe how the dealt with daily problems in prison. In chapter 6: Mechanisms of Social Control, the former inmates discuss the social control mechanisms used in prisons, while chapter 7: Where Do We Go from Here?, contains a discussion about gender, social control, and inmate culture, as well as advice on how prison officials can help to maintain a culture of mutual respect in their facilities. References and index