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DISCUSS EXPLANATIONS OF INSTITUTIONAL AGGRESSION
IMPORTATION MODEL Irwin & Cressey (IM)
Dispositional Factors: hostile aggression (individual factor) displayed by someone with an aggressive personality (due to past
experiences, cultural fctrs, intoxication, genetics, high tstorone levels). These can be explained by the IMPORTATION MODEL.
Institutional aggression is caused by individuals with a pro-aggressive personality (i.e. pro-aggres cultural values, attitudes, personal
experiences). These aggressive induvid's import their aggression into institutions. Therefore aggression in prison can be caused by
EVALUATION - IM
Doherty: Performed a review of aggressive incidents in Canadian prisons which resulted in death. Found offenders shared
common features in that they were most likely to have a history of violent aggression. Evidence for IM as it suggests aggression is
due to a pro-aggressive personality and those with this trait were more likely to take it out on prisoners without it.
Can account for individual differences i.e. why some people are aggressive in institutions and some are not. This means it can
account for the various actions of those in institutions making more generalizable and so valid
DeLisi: link between being part of a violent gang before going to prison and aggression in prison. Found no evidence that gang
membership, prior to prison, increased violence of prisoners. Suggests that the past experiences do not affect the levels of
Although it has useful applications in that it suggests individuals should be treated differently to those without it does not explain
how they should be treated i.e. should they be segregated? From other non-pro-aggressive personalities or from each other?
Suggests theory is incomplete.
THE DEPREVATION MODEL
Situational Factors: Displayed when group uses aggression to achieve shared aims i.e. in a strike, protest, gang.
Aggression is caused by the factors about the institution itself. If the environment deprives individuals of their usual freedoms, they
experience pains which cause stress and frustration that lead to aggression.
Sykes: argues aggression in prisons caused by prisoners experiencing pains that are the result of:
Loss of FREEDOM & INDEPENDENCE due to prisoners having their behaviours so tightly restricted
DISCOMFORT: due to the poor conditions of the prison.
A loss of HETROSEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS due to all-male environment decreases a man's sense of self
INSECURITY: due to fear of attack from other prisoners results in helplessness
o Therefore aggression in prisons is the reaction to the stressful environment prisoners are paced in.
EVALUATION - DM
Why do only some people react aggressively to institution/situation. Surely if it was the institution causing the aggression
everyone would react the same to this environment; suggesting there are other factors involved
a descriptive model can describe why factors in a situation my lead to aggression but not predictive cannot predict when
aggressive behaviour is likely to occur. As a result the model cannot explain when outbursts of aggression in prisons, even when
levels of deprivation within the institution remain the same.
Magaree: found more over-crowded a prison is the greater the no. of incidences of aggressive behaviours. Evidence for DM as
the lack of independence and increased risk of insecurity (due to overcrowding) is likely to cause prisoners more stress causing
McCorkle: 371 American pisoners found little evidence that poor living conditions and overcrowding increased risk of