Pub. date: 2005 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952514 | Print ISBN: 9780761927310 | Online ISBN: 9781412952514| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Irwin, John (1929–)
John Irwin is a prison sociologist who has combined scholarship with activism throughout his intellectual career. His career, however, did not begin in the usual way. After developing a heroin habit and weaving in and out of the local jail system for short periods, Irwin was sentenced to a prison term at the California Training Facility in Soledad. While serving a five-year sentence, Irwin embarked on a program of self-study, maximizing the limited resources available in the prison library and developing work routines that guided his future achievements in sociology and criminology. Irwin's critique of this system and his experience with it can be found in his third book, Prisons in Turmoil , which was published in 1980. After his release, Irwin began his college studies at San Francisco State College (now University). He soon transferred to University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), to finish his undergraduate degree, before commencing ...