Black Rage in the American Prison System by Rosevelt L. Noble

By Rosevelt L. Noble

Noble's thesis is that African-American inmates delivery "black rage" into the criminal lifestyle, which considerably impacts criminal violence premiums. He reveals prior experiences superficial and increases the bar for destiny examinations via offering a delicate and taboo concept to give an explanation for the powerful racial styles saw in felony victimization. Noble's paintings helps the importation concept of the inmate tradition proposed via Irwin and Cressey. He builds on their idea through advocating for the inclusion of race and different cultural components about the inmate and employees populations into predicative types. He concludes that prisons with larger racial disparities among the inmate and employees populations adventure greater employees attack premiums.

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On the other hand, three studies supported the argument that Black inmates had significantly higher rates of prison violence in comparison to White inmates (Carroll 1974; Harer and Steffensmeier 1996; Silberman 1995). A sixth study further contributes to the inconsistency. Petersilia (1983) analyzed data from three states and reached three different conclusions. Specifically, she found that Black inmates in Texas were more violent than Whites, in California, White inmates were more violent than Blacks, and in Michigan, there was no significant difference between the two groups.

Second, the institution is the unit of analysis for both the independent and dependent variables. Third, the study includes a larger sample of prisons, which are more representative of the average American correctional facility. To achieve this goal the study examines strictly state-run facilities. In 1990, 64 federal adult population confinement facilities housed male inmates exclusively. In that same year, there were 795 such facilities on the state level. Likewise, for 1995 the numbers were 92 federal and 830 state facilities.

The McCorkle et al. (1995) study has one major limitation. In estimating their models, they failed to control for the influence of inmate race on their observed relationship between the White-to-Black guard ratio and measures of prison violence. For example, it would be important to know if the ratio of White-to-Black guards is more significant in determining staff assault rates in prisons with a relatively large number of Black inmates. Subsequently, as it stands, McCorkle et al. (1995) cannot assess how well the observed relationship holds in environments with relatively large, or small, Black inmate populations.

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