Read e-book online The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security PDF

By Gresham M. Sykes

ISBN-10: 0691130647

ISBN-13: 9780691130644

The Society of Captives, first released in 1958, is a vintage of contemporary criminology and probably the most vital books ever written approximately prison.

Gresham Sykes wrote the booklet on the peak of the chilly warfare, stimulated via the world's event of fascism and communism to check the nearest factor to a totalitarian approach in American existence: a greatest safety felony. His research calls into query the level to which prisons can reach their makes an attempt to manage each aspect of life--or no matter if the powerful bonds among prisoners make it very unlikely to run a jail with out discovering methods of "accommodating" the prisoners.

Re-released now with a brand new advent through Bruce Western and a brand new epilogue by way of the writer, The Society of Captives will proceed to function an integral textual content for coming to phrases with the character of recent power.

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Additional info for The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison (Princeton Classic Editions)

Example text

Countless crimes are committed, and millions of criminals condemned, every year. Economically, the disadvantages to society are very great... I think it is undeniable that crime is a source of stupendous waste of money to society. Next to the economic, we have, moreover, the still more important moral disadvantages. If criminality is closely bound up with the moral standards of a people, in return it sends out demoralising influences towards the normal sections of the population. And when one adds to all this the damage and grief suffered by the victims of the crime, and also the constant menace which criminality constitutes to society, the total obtained is already a formidable one.

A criminology which is... ’ (Ibid: 281) The text warned that if criminology was not so normatively committed, it was bound to fall into correctionalism, or the simplistic attempts to merely reform individual offenders without looking up from the task and considering the nature of the social order. Specifically, the text argued that criminology had to face up to ‘the total interconnectedness of these problems and others’, which was only possible if criminology turned what was previously regarded as ‘a discussion of what were previously technical issues’ into a ‘need to deal with society as a totality’ (Ibid: 278).

The processes that give shape and form to modern society are normally defined as urbanisation, industrialisation, capitalisation, secularisation, democraticisation, and a more empirical and analytical approach to knowledge. Perhaps, above all, modern society exhibits rationalisation: modern life is a rationalised existence emphasising planning and control. And we hold out modern society as a valuable and progressive creation. Of course, these processes extend over a long period of time and do not necessarily lead into each other.

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The Society of Captives: A Study of a Maximum Security Prison (Princeton Classic Editions) by Gresham M. Sykes


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