Prison and Identity: Research Behind the Walls
Life in a prison can be a microcosm of the outside world. Conflicts are ever prevalent often presented as power struggles, social hierarchy is visible, cultures develop and roles are assumed and assigned, albeit all within a controlled environment. Identity, as a basic human need, is shaped through one’s life experiences. Does an individual coming into the prison come with an identity that they attempt to negotiate and maintain when inside bars? Does their identity undergo transformation while incarcerated? How does the time spent in prison change their identities when back in the world outside? This unique research project aims to break new ground by studying the role of identity in conflicts within prisons.
Pushpa Iyer, Director of the Centre for Conflict Studies and Julie Reynolds, a Research Fellow at the Centre and criminal justice reporter at The Monterey County Herald, collaborating with Johnny Angel Martinez, a current prison inmate, will conduct this research study.
The research is at this time limited to those with gang associations who are currently incarcerated or who have been released.
Research Coordinator: Pushpa Iyer
Researchers: Johnny Angel Martinez, Julie Reynolds, Pushpa Iyer
Expected date for Working Paper Publication: April 2013