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Incarcerated Interactions

A Theory-Driven Analysis of Applied Prison Communication

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Edited By Erik D. Fritsvold and Jonathan M. Bowman

Incarcerated Interactions: A Theory-Driven Analysis of Applied Prison Communication is an innovative, applied edited book that uses core interdisciplinary social science theories to analyze and describe the social psychology and sociology of communicative interactions amongst incarcerated individuals. Beginning with the fundamentals of human interactions, this edited volume allows scholars across a variety of disciplines (such as criminology, sociology, communication studies, social psychology, anthropology, and economics) to become familiar with and apply the core principles and the requisite terminology of human communication within a criminological context. Each of the four sections of the text not only build upon the knowledge structures of previous chapters, but also function as stand-alone analyses and/or applications of extant scholarship within essential contexts. From a general discussion of core social science theory to the specific application of that theory in a range of scholarly contexts, this book addresses relevant issues such as mental illness and wellness, the gendered experience of inmates, recidivism rates, violence, the criminogenic effect of incarceration and the large-scale implications of prison gangs and their associated cultural influence, to name a few.

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4. The Mean World Syndrome & Newcomer Strategies : Alli Chlapaty

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4. The Mean World Syndrome & Newcomer Strategies

ALLI CHLAPATY

Imagine you were recently convicted of a felony and are facing substantial time in prison for the first time, but the only knowledge you have of the prison system is what you see on television. Violence, gangs, murder, grizzly repeat offenders of crimes you can’t even imagine. How would this affect how you assimilate into prison life? Is the picture in your head even close to the reality of prison? In 1994, the California Three Strikes Law was enacted with heavy media attention to the terribly violent crimes that sparked its writing (Borland, 1994). Although these are true events, many believe that the intense focus on violent crime and the victims of these crimes generates a phenomenon known as the “mean world syndrome,” where people believe they are more at risk to being a victim of a crime than they actually are and that crime is more wide spread than it actually is (Gerbner et al., 1976). If the majority of people believe that the world is more dangerous than it is, how would that affect those who are going to be living among the people perpetrating these crimes? This paper explores the syndrome and its impact upon perceptions of crime and those who commit them as well as how the authors of the California Three Strikes Law used this syndrome to ensure its passage by California voters. Additionally,...

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