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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Criminal Justice Quote: The Rookie Prison Inmate

Initiation rituals welcome newcomers to most human communities. Entering a total institution with a strong subculture can be especially traumatic. A newcomer may face trials of his acumen, tolerance for pain, self-confidence, alertness, physical strength and endurance, or sense of humor. After passing various tests, often humiliating or otherwise unpleasant, he is expected to learn local norms and customs quickly. When he carelessly abuses a norm, a mild or harsh punishment teaches him the proper behavior....This learning process runs parallel to the training in the institution's formal code and is tolerated, if not encouraged, by the [corrections] personnel. The entire experience of rapid socialization to a new environment transforms a rookie into a fully adopted inmate.

Mared M. Kaminski, Games Prisoners Play, 2004

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