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Created: June 22, 2003
Latest Update: September 18, 2003

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Site Teaching Modules CRMJ/SOCA 363: Corrections: Week 5
Hassine Interviews and Prison Violence
You will be held accountable for purposes of grading for the readings and exercises listed here. There will be no "testing." That means that you will not have to live in anxious anticipation of what we will ask and how much you will have to know. Instead, we will provide weekly discussion questions, lectures, essays, and concepts we feel that you should know as a result of having taken this course. You will assure us of that learning and receive your grade for the questions and concepts about which you choose to write and talk with us. In addition, you will find detailed explanations and examples on our grading policies in the first week's reading.

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Week 5: Week of September 28, 2003

  • Topic: The Hassine Interviews and Prison Violence

  • Preparatory Readings:
    --- Haas and Alpert. Dilemmas of Corrections. ch. 7-9
    --- Hassine. Life Without Parole. ch. 9-15

  • Lectures/Discussions: in class

  • Concepts:

    • target violence
    • physical victimization, psychological victimization, economic victimization, social victimization

  • Discussion Questions:

    1. In Part 2, Interviews in the Hassine book, what is the most pressing problem in today's prison? Why.
    2. If the prison experiment has failed miserably, then why do we keep building more prisons? Relate this to the readings as well as to "theory, policy, practice"?
    3. Some believe that the history of corrections shows a continuous movement toward more humane treatment in prisons as society, in general, has progressed. What would Hassine say? Why. What is your view? Why.
    4. Compare and contrast Hassine's book with the Haas and Alpert readings on prison violence. Which came first -- the violent person creating the violent prison or prisons as violent environments creating the violent person (or creating a more violent person)? Why.

  • Ideas and Suggestions for Creative Measures
    • Compare and contrast a series of prison movies (both old and new) with Hassine's Life Without Parole.
    • If you enjoyed reading Hassine's Life Without Parole , you might be interested in other prison autobiographies/biographies:
      --- Jack Henry Abbott. In the Belly of the Beast.
      --- Leonard Peltier. Prison Writings.
      --- Eldridge Cleaver. Soul on Ice.
      --- Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. Thirteenth Round.
      --- The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

  • Recommended Readings:
    • Alfie Kohn. Beyond Discipline.
    • James Austin and John Irwin. It's About Time: America's Imprisonment Binge.
    • Georg Rusche and Otto Kirchheimer. Punishment and Social Structure.
    • David Rothman. Discovery of Asylum.
    • Michel Foucault. Discipline and Punish.

  • Interesting Links:

  • Site Copyright: Jeanne Curran and Susan R. Takata and Individual Authors, June 2003.
    "Fair use" encouraged.