Clemmer’s Process of Prisonization


D. Clemmer used the term “prisonization” to describe a process that prisoners undergo. What did Clemmer mean? Does prisonization affect all prisoners in the same way?

Assignment should be at least 4 pages long – excluding references – DO NOT FORGET TO REFERENCE YOUR SOURCES!


         Clemmer’s Process of Prisonization

In Donald Clemmer’s book “The Prison Community,” he defines the process of prisonization as acceptance of the culture and social life in prison (Clark, 2018). He also views prison as a subculture that has different interests and believes compared to the larger culture. According to him, prisonization is the process by which newly institutionalized prisoners accept a criminal way of living and prison life in general. Therefore, from this definition, prisonization can be viewed as the concept that establishes some form of informal codes that a prisoner accepts in their survival values. It is important to note that most prisoners go to prison with only a few characteristics of a criminal, but when they socialize with others during incarceration, they adopt the prison culture, values, and codes (Stuart & Miller, 2017). Therefore, Clemmer’s concept of prisonization refers to all the changes that prisoners experience during incarceration through adapting the prison’s subcultural values. 

Clemmer used the concept of prisonization to demonstrate the fundamental influence that prison life can have on prisoners and the impact of the prison subculture whose codes, myths, codes, and perception of the outside world and incarceration institutions on the rehabilitation process. According to Clark (2018), the main core of these perceptions is represented in the inmate codes and systems that lead to some sense of resistance towards prison officials, who in this culture represent the oppressors, and increased loyalty to other prisoners. As Clemmer demonstrated the outcomes of an inmate exposed to prison society in the concept of prisonization, he considers it a perfect example of a more general concept of illustration of assimilation, which occurs when a person is introduced to a new way of life or culture. Essentially, the best way to internalize criminal outlook was through the total consequences of the process of prisonization, thus leaving prisoners relatively protected from the impact of codes, systems, and values within the prison (Martin, 2018). From Clemmer’s definition of the term “prisonization” the degree of the process of prisonization can be viewed as the main factor that influences inmates’ ability to rehabilitate and live a rectified life after they are released from incarceration institutions.  

According to Clemmer’s concept of prisonization all imprisoned criminals are exposed to common incarceration features; thus, he argued that no inmate could remain completely unaffected by the life within the prison walls (Shlosberg et al., 2018). The common features of incarceration include their acceptance to taking an inferior role that prison officials assign to them and prisoners’ recognition that they do not own anything to ensure their basic needs supply in their new environment. Besides these common incarceration features, Clemmer points out other conditions which he believes have a great impact both on the speed and degree of the process of prisonization (Clark, 2018). Considering this argument, it would be correct to conclude that the process of prisonization is lowest for those inmates who had a more positive life and strong socialized relationships before they were incarcerated…………for help with this assignment contact us via email Address:

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