Section 4: Violence Among People in Prison

Published date01 May 2022
Date01 May 2022
Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice
2022, Vol. 38(2) 243 –244
© The Author(s) 2022
Article reuse guidelines:
DOI: 10.1177/10439862221096898
Section 4: Violence Among
People in Prison
On the Violence of Prison, by Kenneth E. Hartman
Coming to a Roost Near You, by William Jones
Untitled, by Thomas Everette Moore
Opinions from an Inmate, by Matthew R. Hettinger
A Letter From a Michigan Prison Cell, by Westley Johnson
The Hidden Violence of the State on Prisoners: Night Checks, by Michael Irwin
In Corrections: Punitive Correction is Violent Criminal Justice, by Jarret J. Keith
This section deals with violence in prison settings, whether it is overt or covert in
nature. Many submissions to this special issue detailed violence between incarcerated
people as they struggled to cope with the prison environment. As Novisky and Peralta
(2020) point out, researchers too often overlook the profound harms of witnessing
violence between others while incarcerated Novisky and Peralta (2020). Several
essays touch on the delicate balance of power between corrections officers (COs) and
inmates and how their interactions instrumentally shape the prison experience.
In this section, Kenneth Hartman describes the constant presence of violence in his
38 years inside California’s prison system, noting succinctly that “violence never dis-
appeared.” Even after his release, Hartman reminds us that the violence he encoun-
tered in prison profoundly shapes the way he operates in the world. William Jones
urges us to think about the root causes of incarceration as he describes how he navi-
gated the violence of Texas prisons for decades. Thomas Everette Moore provides
vivid examples for how he successfully managed and navigated the often simmering
violence between people he was incarcerated with, but carried the trauma of these
strategies through his release from prison in 2009 and through obtaining his PhD in
Matthew Hettinger reflects back on his 13 years incarcerated and observes that the
level of confinement in a prison is not only reflective of the type of inmates in the
facility but also the types of people that work in them. Hettinger notes that rehabilita-
tion-focused COs are likely to be hired in “good” prisons, and punitive employees are
1096898CCJXXX10.1177/10439862221096898Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice

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