Characterisation of the phenomenon of informal structure of criminal subculture Cover Image

Charakterystyka nieformalnych struktur podkultury przestępczej
Characterisation of the phenomenon of informal structure of criminal subculture

Author(s): Witold Tomasz, Angelika Hejmej
Subject(s): Social psychology and group interaction, Criminology, Studies in violence and power, Penology
Published by: Oficyna Wydawnicza KA AFM
Keywords: prison subculture; resocialisation; penitentiary system; prisoner; incarcerated; prison; detention centre; crime; detention

Summary/Abstract: Prison sentence used in Polish penal system is one of the most widely criticised punishments used for criminals. The convicted are sent into prisons or detention centres, which makes them (the incarcerated) even more vulnerable to committing a crime due to their isolation and solitary confinement. In this way, a distinct subculture is created. It is conditioned by many factors which determine its size, form, norms and rules enforced by the prisoners. The phenomenon of prison subculture causes a wide range of negative consequences, e.g. self-aggression; aggression towards other inmates, prison officers, or even family; mental or physical abuse; mental or sexual disorders. Such situations have a negative influence on the process of resocialisation, because they are destructive for the personality of a prisoner, especially for a juvenile delinquent as his/her decision making possibilities related to themselves are limited. Therefore, one might venture to say that the bigger the influence of subculture norms and rules, the more disturbed the process of resocialisation.

  • Issue Year: XI/2015
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 79-88
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: English