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Under the Penal Gaze: An empirical examination of penal consciousness among prison inmates

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2010, $24,950)

This project will examine the relative impacts of two different styles of correctional management - indirect and direct supervision - on incarcerated populations. This research will use a comparative, qualitative design to understand how and why direct supervision has been said to 'work' in comparison to the more traditional indirect supervision status quo. In-depth, qualitative interviews with prisoners in direct supervision (DS) and indirect supervision (IS) settings will be conducted to capture three tiers of data on penality: (1) penality as it emerges, unprompted, from a discussion of everyday life; (2) penality as it is defined and understood by the subject; and (3) penality as it is defined by the researcher and experienced by the subject. Demographic data, offense-related characteristics, and ethnographic/observational and archival data will also be collected to more fully understand the institutional and policy context in which the individual-level data are situated. The sample will consist of 100 Level II prisoners across three Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) prisons. Subjects will be selected through stratified random sampling, with each stratum corresponding to one of four combinations of supervision style and population types: 1) male inmates in DS housing units, 2) male inmates in IS housing units, 3) female inmates in DS housing units, and 4) female inmates in IS housing units. Subsequent results will improve upon the body of knowledge on direct supervision by addressing significant gaps within the existing literature. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 6, 2010