Varieties of Prison Voyeurism: An Analytic/Interpretive Framework

The Prison Journal, Vol. 95, No.3, pp. 397-417, 2015.

University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper

21 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2015

See all articles by Jeffrey Ian Ross

Jeffrey Ian Ross

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The public learns, experiences, and knows about jails, prisons, and the people who live and work there through a variety of mediums and/or methods. Not all situations are equal in terms of the cost to the individual, the reality of the experience, and the effect it may have on the participant. In an effort to better contextualize this process, this article develops a typology to better understand these methods of participation. Ten methods by which people can experience correctional facilities include, on one end of the spectrum, the highly personal experience of incarceration, and on the other end, attempts by individuals to understand and/or experience corrections without intimately engaging with the subject matter. This latter method, termed prison voyeurism, fails to contextualize the myths, misrepresentations, and stereotypes of prison life rather than clarifying or explaining them. The author develops a framework to interpret the jail and prison experience. Examples are drawn primarily from the American prison experience.

Keywords: prisons, prison reform, prison voyeurism, popular culture, jails, correctional facilities, incarceration, prison life

JEL Classification: K14, K19, K39, K42, K49, L89

Suggested Citation

Ross, Jeffrey Ian, Varieties of Prison Voyeurism: An Analytic/Interpretive Framework (2015). The Prison Journal, Vol. 95, No.3, pp. 397-417, 2015.; University of Baltimore School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2685252 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2685252

Jeffrey Ian Ross (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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