Books On PrisonsJail Ki Selfie

Hacks Blacks And Cons: Leo Carroll

Leo Carroll demonstrates that the structure of social relationships within prisons increasingly is taking on the character of race relations as a result  of  the concurrence of  recent social changes of two kinds-

  • Humanitarian prison reforms policies have weakened the power of prison guards, pitted custodians against prison administrators, undermined the convict solidarity of white inmates, and facilitated black solidarity among black inmates.
  • Outside racial- ethnic social movements have permeated prions, enabling black prisoners to articulate an ideology of black nationalism with their prisoner status. This case study of one reform-oriented north- eastern maximum- security state prison analyzes the nature and implication of these changes within one penal setting. Carroll conducted the study from September 1970 to September 1971, utilizing commendable overt, triangulated participant observation and interviewing techniques. His reconstruction of the setting appears incisive and creditable.

The power structure involved four conflicting groups: the administration, guards, cons (white inmates) and the black inmates. An administration that was weak and vacillating inmates contracts with the outside eliminated the necessary rules, rituals and routines by which inmate behavior had formerly been regulated. Due process of law procedures undermined the guards’ work role. Leaders of inmate organizations were given wide latitudes of behavior and awesome negotiating power with the administration.


Content- Chicago journals


Book cover- Abebooks.com


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