Violence as information during prison reform: evidence from the Post-Soviet region

Slade, G. (2016) Violence as information during prison reform: evidence from the Post-Soviet region. British Journal of Criminology, 56(5), pp. 937-955. (doi:10.1093/bjc/azv085)

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Abstract

When reform occurs in prison systems, prisoner insecurity increases. One reason for this is disorganization. The disruption to informal governance structures, distributions of power and mechanisms for establishing trust causes conflicts. This paper argues that a key mechanism linking disorganization to conflict and violence is information flow. Incomplete information in interpersonal interaction marks prison settings. Informal institutions for producing certainty for both staff and prisoners emerge to overcome this. Such institutions are handicapped by reform directed at reducing informal prisoner controls. In such cases, violence becomes an information-generating activity and can substitute for reputation. The paper examines this proposition as it applies to prisoners and staff through a critical case study of radical prison reform in the South Caucasus country of post-Soviet Georgia.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:The fieldwork was carried out with the help of research funds from the Centre for Criminology and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Toronto and research funding of the German Excellence Initiative and Marie Curie Foundation as part of the co-financed DRS Fellowship Program of Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin (project number 608829 DRS POINT FP7-PEOPLE-2013-COFUND).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Slade, Dr Gavin
Authors: Slade, G.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Central and East European Studies
Journal Name:British Journal of Criminology
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0007-0955
ISSN (Online):1464-3529
Published Online:28 August 2015

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