Explanations of institutional aggression: role of gang culture

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Psychology unit 3 aggression revision
Explanations of institutional aggression- role of gang culture
Individuals within gangs have a certain way of behaving which tends to be
aggressive towards others so when gang members are in prison their behaviours
can add to the levels of aggression and violence in prisons
Fischer: found that prison gang members were 74% more likely to commit
serious disciplinary violations than non gang members.
McDonald: found that gang members were 30% more likely to commit
acts of prison violence using 2 samples of parolees from California Youth
Ralph and Marquart: found that a loosening of social control in Texas
prisons created a gang problem that led to a 10 fold increase in the rate of
murders. This shows that gang members can be more violent if kept
together. If separated the level of violence decreases so gang members
cause less violence if managed properly.
Delis: found that inmates with prior street gang involvement were no
more likely to engage in prison violence compared to other inmates. This
suggests that the role of gangs in prison violence may not be consistent.
Different gangs and different prisons may alter the influence gangs have on
violence. For example, if prisons isolate known gang members, they can
reduce the rates of serious assaults by 50%. This means that whilst gang
culture can affect prison violence, its influence varies and is only one of a
number of factors influencing aggression in prisons.


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