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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Prisoner attitudes toward crime, politics, and the socioeconomic system : the politicized prisoner phenomenon Cartwright, Barry Edward


This study was designed to measure the degree of prisoner politicization in federal prisons in British Columbia, and to measure the association between prisoner politicization and exposure to the criminal justice system. A random sample of sixty prisoners was obtained at three federal prisons in British Columbia. The interview results were codified, analyzed by an SPSS computer program, and then reviewed extensively by the writer and the thesis supervisor before making a final determination of the degree of prisoner politicization. Seventeen (28 percent) of the prisoners were found to be either moderately or extremely politicized. There also was evidence of nascent politicization among some prisoners who were not found to be significantly politicized. There was support for the hypothesis that prisoner politicization is related to exposure to the criminal justice system, although not as strong as expected. Politicization appears to be related to both quantity of exposure (as measured by frequency of incarceration) and quality of exposure (as measured by usual level of security and length of sentence).

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