The erosion of authority and the perceived legitimacy of inmate social protest: A study of prison guards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

The level of control exercised by guards over inmates, it has been argued, has decreased recently as a result of therapeutic, legal, and bureaucratic changes in American prisons. Feeling that inmates too often and too easily circumvent their authority, and that greater inmate rights pose a serious threat to their ability to maintain order, guards tend to discredit inmate complaints and to deny inmates the right to lawful social protest. Questionaire data are analyzed to examine (1) the extent and degree to which guards perceive as legitimate the various means by which inmates may protest unfair treatment by staff and (2) the relationship of this perceived legitimacy of inmate social protest to a variety of factors that prior research has isolated as important in understanding prison guards as an occupational group.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)579-590
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Criminal Justice
Volume12
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1984

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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