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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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22. Injustice for Inmates: Face Negotiation & Mental Health Reform : Katherine Pfost

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22. Injustice for Inmates: Face Negotiation & Mental Health Reform

KATHERINE PFOST

On April 10th, 2014 U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton issued a ruling regarding the improper treatment of mentally ill patients in the California correctional system (Coleman, R. et al v. Brown, E. G. et al., 2014). Judge Karlton wrote that while “significant progress” has been made to remedy the Eighth Amendment violations of mentally ill inmates in California’s prison system, the use of force, violence, and lack of available treatment still constitutes as a harsh violation of these inmates civil rights (for an overview, see Stenton & Walsh, 2014.; Thompson, 2014a). In his ruling Judge Karlton considered two questions: (1) Had the state of California remedied the Eighth Amendment violations in regards to the use of force, disciplinary measures, and segregated housing based on the standards set by a previous 1995 court ruling? (2) If not, then what additional measures must be taken to rectify the treatment of mentally ill inmates within the correctional system? After weeks of testimony and disturbing footage of inmates being pepper sprayed into submission and further mistreated, the answer to the first of Judge Karlton’s questions was a loud and resounding “no.” But the answer to the second question of additional measures has created much more ambiguity and is much more difficult to ascertain.

Mentally ill inmates have been a multifaceted challenge within the correction system throughout American for...

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