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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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23. Solitary: Rethinking Secure Housing Units : Jensen Bryant

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23. Solitary: Rethinking Secure Housing Units

JENSEN BRYANT

Since the inception of solitary confinement in the United States nearly forty years ago, the practice of segregating certain prisoners in near to total isolation has been a controversial issue. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) in particular has a long and contentious use of long-term solitary confinement, and, as of October 2013, it houses approximately 3,600 dangerous offenders in its “Security Housing Units” (CDCR, 2013). While the issues discussed here are certainly relevant on a national level, the focus of this paper will be primarily on their context in California.

Prison policy has traditionally held the belief that removing the few most problematic inmates from general population—whether gang related or not—will promote a safer environment for both the guards and the offenders. It could be argued that such policies even keep the outside public safer when one views them as means to suppress the gang activity that transcends prison walls. Alternately, opponents of the various forms of solitary confinement point to several troublesome issues associated with the practice, the foremost of which are the potentially devastating psychological effects it can have on an inmate. From this premise, questions of its constitutionality have arisen, as well the argument that policies of solitary confinement ultimately do not deter violence in prison. Moreover, many assert that inmates paroled after time in isolated segregation pose a greater...

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