The Inmate Subculture in United States Prisons: An Overview Essay

1775 Words 8 Pages
The Inmate Subculture in United States Prisons: An Overview
The Subculture Phenomena within Prisons
To be able to discuss the issue of the inmate sub-cultures in prison I will first have to discuss what subcultures are and major reasons that they form. First of all the term subculture in general is kind of like a small culture within and not always accepted by members of a larger one known as a society. Societies as a whole are very large and contain many individuals within them, and let us face it it is human nature to group together or congregate with individuals that have similar interests. This causes the whole to split off into smaller groups and this process is how subcultures form; however, if you eliminate certain elements
…show more content…
2. Isolation from the inmate’s friend and family support structure which results in a need for belonging.
3. Confinement and the loss of an inmate’s freedom are also among the leading causes for subcultures to develop in a prison setting.
4. Overcrowding with so many prisoners we are running out of room to house them all and some prisons have had to convert what was to have been two man rooms into four man rooms.
5. Stress is the resulting effect of all of the previous environmental factors within the prisons and is not exclusive to the inmates but is also a problem for the Department of Corrections personnel as well.
The inmates in prisons regardless of their age have adapted their own behavior norms, ideals, and their own social code or code of ethics therefore; the inmates have truly set themselves apart from the guards and society in general.
The Juvenile Inmate Social Code
The inmate social codes among juveniles are used to unite the inmates against the control of the facility staff that is trying to rehabilitate them and it serves a second purpose of attempting to strengthen the bonds among the inmates.
The following is the Juvenile Inmate Social Code according to Turnstile Justice the second edition:
1. Exploit whomever you can: The conduct norms suggest that the powerless may be victimized in any conceivable way.
2. Don’t kiss ass: This Tenet warns inmates not to be dependent…