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Incarcerated Interactions

A Theory-Driven Analysis of Applied Prison Communication


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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24. Cross-cultural Recidivism: A Case Study of Norwegian & Californian Prisons : Ryan Sueme


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24. Cross-cultural Recidivism: A Case Study of Norwegian & Californian Prisons


“It’s like living in a village, a community, everybody has to work. But we have free time so we can do some fishing, or in summer we can swim off the beach” (James, 2013). A quote like this sounds like a wonderful place to live or even vacation. In actuality, the man being quoted is a convict doing 14 years for drug smuggling, and he’s talking about a high security prison in Norway on Bastoy Island, Skien Maximum Security prison. This description of a federal prison, a facility that is generally associated with punitive measures to correct illegal behavior, seems out of place in the American legal system, with a widespread morbid and intimidating reputation. Norway, and Scandinavian prisons tend to look at things differently, such that prisoners are “treated like people” rather than simply convicts (James 2013). Given the difference in Norway’s recidivism rate (20%) and that of the United States (70%), one begins to wonder what other differences emerge (Adams, 2010).

The policies and systems seen in Norway were originally implemented from Swedish models with the purpose of addressing high recidivism rates and costs of the penal system (Ward, 2013). The purpose of this study is to analyze the work done by the Norwegian prison model and to judge its effectiveness in addressing recidivism rates, and then to compare this system to...

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