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What are prison subcultures, and how do they influence prison life? How do they develop, and what purpose do they serve?
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Prison subcultures reflect the values and behavioral patterns characteristic of prison inmates. They are the mechanisms that inmates develop in the population to cope with the realities of prison life. Subcultures likely derive from a drive to have some control over one’s environment, or at least some small segment of one’s environment. Because prison authorities control all aspects of an inmate’s life in the conventional world, the development of subcultures that cannot be controlled by those authorities gives inmates a means of exercising control in their “real” world.
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