The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System

The Social Order of the Underworld: How Prison Gangs Govern the American Penal System

written by David Skarbek (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 2014), 237 page(s)

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Abstract / Summary
When most people think of prison gangs, they think of chaotic bands of violent, racist thugs. Few people think of gangs as sophisticated organizations (often with elaborate written constitutions) that regulate the prison black market, adjudicate conflicts, and strategically balance the competing demands of inmates, gang members, and correctional officers. Yet as David Skarbek argues, gangs form to create order among outlaws, producing alternative governance institutions to facilitate illegal activity. He uses economics to explore the secret world of the convict culture, inmate hierarchy, and prison gang politics, and to explain why prison gangs form, how formal institutions affect them, and why they have a powerful influence over crime even beyond prison walls. The ramifications of his findings extend far beyond the seemingly irrational and often tragic society of captives. They also illuminate how social and political order can emerge in conditions where the traditional institutions of governance do not exist.
Field of Interest
Global Issues
David Skarbek
Copyright Message
Copyright © 2014 Oxford University Press
Content Type
0 sec
Warning: Contains explicit content
Page Count
Publication Year
Oxford University Press
Place Published / Released
Oxford, England
Global Issues, Criminal Justice & Public Safety, Social Sciences, Corrections, Gangs, Cliques and gangs, Prisons, Prisoners, Law, Sociology, Correções, Asuntos Penitenciarios, California, 21st Century in World History (2001– )
Keywords and Translated Subjects
Correções, Asuntos Penitenciarios

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