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The Prisoner Society
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The Prisoner Society: Power, Adaptation and Social Life in an English Prison

Ben Crewe


While the use of imprisonment continues to rise in developed nations, we have little sociological knowledge of the prison's inner world. Based on extensive fieldwork in a medium-security prison in the UK, HMP Wellingborough, this book provides an in-depth analysis of the prison's social anatomy. It explains how power is exercised by the institution, individualizing the prisoner community and demanding particular forms of compliance and engagement. Drawing on prisoners' life stories, it shows how different prisoners experience and respond to the new range of penal practices and frustrations. It ... More

Keywords: HMP Wellingborough, institutional power, prisoner community, prisoner compliance, prisoner engagement, prisoners' life stories, penal practices, prison environment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199577965
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577965.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ben Crewe, author
Senior Research Associate at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge