Friends in locked places

An investigation of prison inmate network structure

David R. Schaefer, Martin Bouchard, Jacob Young, Derek A. Kreager

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 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)
JournalSocial Networks
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2017

Fingerprint

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

Keywords

  • Brokerage
  • Community detection
  • Exponential random graph model
  • Friendship
  • Homophily
  • Inmates
  • Prison
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Friends in locked places : An investigation of prison inmate network structure. / Schaefer, David R.; Bouchard, Martin; Young, Jacob; Kreager, Derek A.

In: Social Networks, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schaefer, David R. ; Bouchard, Martin ; Young, Jacob ; Kreager, Derek A. / Friends in locked places : An investigation of prison inmate network structure. In: Social Networks. 2017.
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