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Organizational Change, Environmental Uncertainty, and Managerial Control in a Large Post-Reform American Prison System
Faculty Book Gallery
  • Joe Gorton, University of Northern Iowa
This work by Dr. Gorton demonstrates how organizational restructuring centralized control over the managerial process and also provides an in-depth analysis of how a large prison system was restructured in response to rapid growth and increased pressure from outside the organization by civil rights activists practitioners, scholars, and the federal courts. Preface; Many people are fascinated by the dangerous and mysterious world of American prisons. This is not surprising, for contemporary prisons are truly remarkable organizations. Confronted by constantly changing political, cultural and demographic forces, modern prisons are complex organizations that often pursue disjointed goals. On one hand, they administer punitive sanctions against large aggregates of social misfits, many of whom actively resist coercive social control. Making matters more difficult is the requirement that the punitive enterprise comply with ever-changing legal standards that define permissible forms of punishment. On the other hand, most prisons are required to provide services that seek to promote inmates' personal growth. Visit most large prisons and you will discover programs focusing on substance abuse treatment, vocational training, secondary and post-secondary education, domestic violence counseling, psychological treatment, faith-based counseling, and so on. The conflicting goals of treatment and control are complicated by the necessity to safeguard the security of inmates, staff, visitors and the facility itself. Moreover, much of this work is performed by correctional officers whose jobs earn them low salaries and little prestige. Given these complex mandates, it is understandable that social scientists and others have long been interested in prisons. However, even a basic familiarity with the research literature reveals that the most intense focus of this attention has been on prison subcultures. Surprisingly, few scholars have conducted in-depth analyses of prisons as bureaucracies. -- Provided by publisher
  • Prison administration -- Texas; Prison reformers -- Texas; Prison wardens -- Texas -- Attitudes; Correctional personnel -- Professional ethics -- Texas; Criminals -- Rehabilitation -- Texas; Organizational change -- Texas; Communication in management -- Texas;
Document Type
Publication Date
Edwin Mellen Press
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
Object Description
viii, 220 pages ; 24 cm
Citation Information
Joe Gorton. Organizational Change, Environmental Uncertainty, and Managerial Control in a Large Post-Reform American Prison System. Lewiston, NY(2002)
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