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Inmate Behavior Reflects Permanent Adaptation to Conditions of Prison Life  

Author:  Roslyn Myers, Ph.D., J.D..

Source: Volume 13, Number 03, Winter 2021 , pp.77-82(6)

Family & Intimate Partner Violence Quarterly

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In this sobering reflection on the psychologically devastating effects of prison life, author Roslyn Myers aptly explains why correctional institutions in this country do everything but correct the maladaptive emotional and behavioral patterns of most inmates. In fact, prison life itself, with its repressive structure and mean-spirited, dog-eat-dog social culture, is almost universally traumatizing to prisoners. An incarcerated individual, as the author points out, invariably, n a do-or-die fashion, is forced to adapt to these abnormal conditions. This, in turn, induces undesirable personality changes and dysfunctional coping mechanisms that make the individual even less prepared to function normally out in the world, after their release—possibly leading to the very same problematic coping patterns that led them to engage in criminality in the first place.

Keywords: Prisonization; Prison Culture

Affiliations:  1: John Jay College.

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