Friends in locked places: An investigation of prison inmate network structure

David R. Schaefer, Martin Bouchard, Jacob T.N. Young, Derek Allen Kreager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The current study investigates informal social structure among prison inmates. Data come from the Prison Inmate Network Study (PINS), a project focused on a unit of a Pennsylvania medium security men's prison. We focus on 205 inmates and their “get along with” network – an approximation of friendship in other settings. We find a weak subgroup structure dominated by two groups of “old heads” and characterized by moderate (non gang-based) race/ethnic clustering. Structurally, the network resembles adolescents in schools, suggesting that prison inmates are capable of successfully building peer associations. We conclude that under the right conditions self-organizing inmate society can foster social integration reminiscent of other social settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)88-103
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Networks
Volume51
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

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Prisons
correctional institution
informal structure
social integration
friendship
social structure
Cluster Analysis
Head
adolescent
school
Group

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Anthropology
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Schaefer, David R. ; Bouchard, Martin ; Young, Jacob T.N. ; Kreager, Derek Allen. / Friends in locked places : An investigation of prison inmate network structure. In: Social Networks. 2017 ; Vol. 51. pp. 88-103.
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Friends in locked places : An investigation of prison inmate network structure. / Schaefer, David R.; Bouchard, Martin; Young, Jacob T.N.; Kreager, Derek Allen.

In: Social Networks, Vol. 51, 01.10.2017, p. 88-103.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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