instituitional aggression in prisons

  • Created by: maisha
  • Created on: 27-03-21 18:01


An institution is any mechanism of social order and cooperation governing the behaviour of a set of individuals within a given human community. Communities may include schools, clubs, sports teams, and prisons.

Dispositional explanations: the importation model: Dispositional explanations explain behaviour in terms of individual personality characteristics. According to the importation model, Irwin and Cressey (1962) claim that prisoners bring their own social histories and traits with them into prison, and this influences their adaptation to the prison environment. Irwin and Cressey argue that prisoners are not ‘blank slates’ when they enter prison- they import certain characteristics into the prison which encourage aggression. DeLisi et al (2011) found that juvenile delinquents who had a history of substance abuse, anger, childhood trauma and violent behaviour committed more acts of physical violence in institutions compared to a control group of inmates with fewer negative personality traits.


  • Harer and Steffensmeier (2006) collected data from 58 US prisons and found that black inmates had significantly high rates of violent behaviour but lower rates of alcohol-related and drug-related misconduct than white inmates. These patterns parallel racial differences in these behaviours in US


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