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Prison design and the way that effects inmate's behaviour has been looked at by a number of psychologists and some interesting results looking at a range of topics have been found.

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Introduction

Prison design A) Prison design and the way that effects inmate's behaviour has been looked at by a number of psychologists and some interesting results looking at a range of topics have been found. Gilbert (1972) looked at movement within the prison and found that the inmate restriction of movement is more important than cell size. The inmates can content themselves with small sleeping areas, if they are able to engage in a variety of activities in more than one setting throughout the day. Cox, Paulus and McCain (1984) it's looked at aggression and found high correlations between prison density and innate aggression. In one prison they found that a 30 per cent decrease in density resulted in a 60 per cent decrease in assaults, and that a 20 per cent increase in density resulted in a 36 per cent increase in assaults. Similar results were found by Rubach and Carr (1984). However Bonata (1980) also looked at this topic and found less conclusive results. ...read more.

Middle

in contrast Gilbert (1972) was looking at attitudes which is less accurate subjective measure. This compares with Wener (1988) who was also thinking about attitudes - a subjective measure. The third evaluation issues Ecological validity. All the above studies have high ecological validity, they are very true to life. The above information was either found in all taken from real prisoners in a real life settings. The 4th evaluation issue is generalisability. Can the findings be generalised to the rest of the population, is the sample representative? These studies or used large samples of prison inmates and can be generalised to people in other prisons. However there is room for caution as all prisons are very different and have different inmates within them. The date the studies took place could also be considered. Gilbert's study took place in 1972 and is therefore almost 30 years old. This is a problem because modern prison designs have changed and prison populations are higher, meaning that the results cannot be accurately applied in prisons today. ...read more.

Conclusion

Perceived crowding has been found to have a very strong implication on behaviour of the inmates. Designs could the Incorporated up to try and improve psychological perceptions of Crowding, as well as looking at actual density. Factors from Gilbert, such as various activities in different settings, and Schaeffer such as cubicle partitioning, could all go some way to achieve this. This reduction in density would also help to reduce the level of ill health among inmates. An important issue is the attitudes of inmates towards the prison. Ideas of modification could incorporate Wener and Keys findings. Allowing inmates to have more privacy and the opportunity to personalise cells, may improve the attitudes. For example allowing posters and other personal possessions in the cells may make the inmates feel more at ease and view the prison in a better light. These types of territorial markers would definitely help when looking at privacy, things such as enclosed partitioned toilets and a cover that can be pulled across cell windows would enable them to fill more at ease and allow them to keep their personal space. ...read more.

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