Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Prison Culture and Demographics
The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that there are currently over 2 million offenders incarcerated in jails and prisons and the use of jails and prisons for punishment in the United States is burgeoning. Citizens in the United States tend to equate prison with punishment, while viewing other forms of punishment, such as probation, as a slap on the wrist. This view is fueled by the crime control model of justice, which focuses on the victim and encourages harsh punishment for offenders. The men and women who find themselves incarcerated create their own culture within the prison walls as a mode of survival. This entry discusses the demographics of those who are incarcerated and examines the inmate culture as well as offenders' adaptation to prison life. The prison population is growing. The Bureau of Justice Statistics reported in 2005 that the number of incarcerated women rose 3.4 percent from ...