Inmate Misconduct and the Institutional Capacity for Control

Marie L. Griffin, John Hepburn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The social order of a prison arises from the combined effects of the prison's institutional capacity for control and the effectiveness of prison management. Prior research suggests that the criminogenic characteristics of the inmate population, the security level of the prison, and the prison environment are three structural characteristics of prisons that define each prison's institutional capacity for control, as reflected in the aggregate-level measures of inmate misconduct, and prison environment is expected to moderate the effects of inmate population characteristics on inmate misconduct. This study of 50 state prisons for men provides support for the hypothesized direct effects of institutional capacity for control on the level of violent and nonviolent inmate misconduct and for the contextual effect of prison environment. The findings are discussed in terms of the management environment created among prisons by variations in the institutional capacity for control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-288
Number of pages19
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • administrative control
  • prison environment
  • prison management
  • prison misconduct
  • prison violence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law


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