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"It's nice to be treated like a human being": An ethnographic investigation of female inmates communicating support behind bars
Hook, Courtney Nicole
Winslow, LukeWelsh, Megan
The United States imprisons more people than any other nation in the world. In the midst of an ongoing national debate surrounding the American criminal justice system, this research advocates approaching incarceration as a site for rehabilitation, not punishment. This ethnographic study was conducted at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility, a female-only county jail with rehabilitative philosophies and strategies in helping prepare inmates to successfully transition back into society. Participant observations and interviews with 12 female inmates were conducted to understand how social support is communicated by inmates living in incentive-based housing, a first-of-its-kind housing unit that was created to provide inmates a community within which to become rehabilitated. The study revealed four forms of support being communicated behind bars, including the communication of accountability, comradery, validation, and compassion. These four forms of communication are important to consider as our nation moves forward in how we approach criminal justice in American.
Professional Studies and Fine Arts
Master of Arts (M.A.) San Diego State University, 2017
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