INDIGENOUS PRISON CULTURE AND EXPORTATION THEORY

In contrast to the tenets of importation theory is the notion that prison subculture is largely the product of socialization that occurs inside prison. It was the work of Gresham Sykes that first introduced this notion in a clear and thorough manner. His theory has been referred to as either the deprivation theory of prisonization or the indigenous model of prison culture. Sykes referred to the pains of imprisonment as the rationale for why and how prison culture develops in the manner that it does. The pains of imprisonment is a term that refers to the various inconveniences and deprivations that occur as a result of incarceration. According to Sykes, the pains of imprisonment tended to gather around five general areas of deprivation, and it was due to these deprivations that the prison subculture developed, largely as a means of adapting to the circumstances within the prison. Sykes included the following five categories as being particularly challenging to men and women who do time:

1. The loss of liberty.

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2. The loss of goods and services readily available in society.

3. The loss of heterosexual relationships, both sexual and nonsexual.

4. The loss of autonomy.

5. The loss of personal security.

Inmates within the prison environment essentially create value systems and engage in behaviors that are designed to ease the pains of deprivation associated with these five areas. Research has examined the effects of prison upon inmates who are forced to cope with the constrained prison existence.

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