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WikiProject Correction and Detention Facilities (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Correction and Detention Facilities, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of prisons and penology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


I really just started this because it needed starting. I don't know much about the subject, and could use some help. Some sections I am trying to research:

  • Rights
  • Psychological aspects
  • Ethics
  • Notable prisoners
  • Captors

Anna Frodesiak (talk) 22:15, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Excellent work. I've no specialist knowledge on this subject but I'm willing to do a bit of research. In terms of structuring the article I think it should seek to answer two questions initially. Who are prisoners? What is the lived experience of prison like? the first question will be far easier to do and is something like a population analysis. This is partly, but only partly, covered in other pages on Prison and Incarceration but in the instance of the US, for example, it really only looks at incarceration rates and the ethnicity of the prison population. There should be good information on gender, age, religion, marital status, education level, income, family background, exposure to violence, psychiatric conditions, addictions, etc, etc. That should provide a fairly strong empirical basis for the article. Then we could move to the more experiential aspects in terms of what is the prison career like? I'm not sure how that would be structured exactly but it would, I think, potentially be the more interesting facet of the article. Personally, I think we should limit the "history section" and write another article on that if necessary. It will be difficult enough to cover this topic in terms of the last 50 years, never mind the last 8,000. Similarly with geographical coverage - I'd stick to English speaking countries for the minute unless other good sources are available. Parochial, I know, but the topic is very broad.FiachraByrne 01:05, 5 April 2011 (UTC)

Thank you kindly. It's just a very rough start. I'm no specialist either. Great points about the "who" and the "what". I've been trying to think of how to put things together so that it doesn't overlap too much with other articles.
I love the statistics angle. That is needed.
I think the history section will expand itself, and break away if/when large enough.
I will try to rough in section headings to encourage other editor, and help provide a framework. This might also prevent overlap, and help steer the article into its intended niche.
Here is a list of good/possible sections. Please add to it or comment:
  • Demographics
  • Institutionalization
  • Post-imprisonment experience
  • Psychological effects: stages, changes, fear, depression, claustrophobia, etc
  • Interaction with other prisioners
  • Hierarchy
  • Sex
  • Violence
  • Gangs
  • Race/segregation (the whole black vs nasty nazi thing)
  • Risks
  • Day-to-day life
  • Stockholm Syndrome
  • Treatment
Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 03:47, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
OK. That's a plan and I wouldn't add to that until we do a bit more research. The only other point I would make is that I think that its important to balance any coverage of the US with the experience in other countries. Because of the rate of imprisonment in US it's very important of course but it is very much an extreme outlier in terms of other western countries at least. Demographics first I guess. I think I've fixed my signature by the way. Thanks for pointing it out. FiachraByrne (talk) 04:14, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Agreed about the "...wouldn't add to that...". As for balance, other editors will do as they may, but I will aim for balance in my edits. Demographics first: agree. Your signature: Looks blue, and that's good. Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 04:56, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Wow. Daunting. There exists Incarceration in the United States with demographics. But, I am not sure about other countries. I think we need guidance before getting started. I posted at Wikipedia:WikiProject Correction and Detention Facilities for advice. They will know what's out there in Wikipedialand. I think the number one priority is to prevent overlap. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:12, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
Agree about the problem with overlap. Having said that they don't have that much info for the US. The areas that they have covered are ethnicity, gender, rate of incarceration, and estimates of the noncitizen population. US prison stats are scary. FiachraByrne (talk) 13:34, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
US prison stats are indeed scary. I have no idea even how to organize the stats. To be frank, I started the article because it needed starting. I'm not even really interested in prison stuff. It all started when I created Prison food, and I'm not sure why I did that. I suggest that we do one of the following:
  • Plow through all relevant articles to see what's there and what's missing, and make a plan ourselves.
  • Wait for others at the wikiproject to weigh in with some advice. (This could take a while, as I am not sure how much activity there is on that project.)
  • Start on a section that we know isn't covered, like psychological aspects, (I think).
What do you think? Anna Frodesiak (talk) 14:09, 5 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree that it would be best to start on what isn't covered elsewhere. It might be good to make a list of what has good coverage to prevent overlap. I'm going to start a section below on potential sources.FiachraByrne (talk) 14:48, 5 April 2011 (UTC)


Below is (or will be) a list of sources. Feel free to add to that list anything relevant to the experience of prison life.FiachraByrne (talk) 14:57, 5 April 2011 (UTC)



Thank you. I will get started as soon as I finish an off-wiki task or two. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 05:18, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

I'll try and begin on the psychological aspects today when I get a bit of time. FiachraByrne (talk) 11:27, 6 April 2011 (UTC)
I've read more broadly than deeply but, unfortunately, the ethnographic study of prisoner social life seems to have dried up somewhat over the last few decades. Anyhow, I'm going to try and do a few paragraphs on prisoner culture and changes since the 1970s. FiachraByrne (talk) 22:36, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
I guess we're on our own. Days have passed and no word from the project prison people. I'm having trouble getting my head around this, as you can see from my contribs. I will tuck into it after the weekend, and try to make this article worth visiting. As it stands now, over 100 visitors a day come here. I hope we can give them something worth reading. As of now, you are in charge of what I contribute to this article. Is that okay? You seem to have a far better grasp of what this should all be about. Best, :) Anna Frodesiak (talk) 22:56, 8 April 2011 (UTC)
That project seems a bit dead I think. Strange also that they would rank an article on "prisoners" so low in importance. No matter. If we improve the article enough I'm sure other people will edit. It's a difficult topic, I think, to present in an encyclopaedic article but I'm basically planning to pillage the field of prison ethnography/anthropology for whatever bits and pieces I can find. In your contributions I see a lot of natural disasters and anti-vandalism - somehow these activities are related ... I'm not sure I'm comfortable of being in charge of what you contribute to this article. At the moment it doesn't have anything much to distinguish it. There must be lots of first-person accounts of prison and perhaps a secondary source detailing them. Might be handy if we could find such a source particularly for the period from about 1980-2000 when not many studies looked at anything barring incarceration rates. FiachraByrne (talk) 02:35, 9 April 2011 (UTC)
I agree the prison project is a bit dead.
I ranked the prison article as a low stub when I started it. I guess it's no longer a stub, and should be more important than low.
I like your entry.
Every time I approach the article and start to dig for something, I find another Wikipedia article that covers it. I am at a bit of a loss here. I don't want to simply take a blurb from each main article and add it here. I don't want this article to simply become a portal. Maybe some of these sections don't belong. I am really stumped. It would be great to see 10 editors all give opinions. I hate to bug the community with an WP:RfC, and not sure if it's within the scope of that resource, but that might be a good plan. I will check and see. Sorry to be so unproductive on this. I just don't know where to sink my teeth into. Best, Anna Frodesiak (talk) 11:56, 14 April 2011 (UTC)

Psychological impact section[edit]

Okay. I'm finally reading up and hope to start the section soon. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 11:21, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

I just tossed a psych section in there. I'll go back and qualify it. Right now, I'm seeing double. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 13:12, 29 April 2011 (UTC)

That's very good Anna. I've a lot of stuff to add myself but I've not really had the time to write anything up yet. FiachraByrne (talk) 17:13, 29 April 2011 (UTC)


The first sentence of this article says, without any comment to the effect that it is a euphemism, that inmate is a synonym of prisoner. Is the English language now a thing of the past that has been forgotten more completely than Latin? Michael Hardy (talk) 13:54, 11 July 2011 (UTC)

I fixed it. --JeffJ (talk) 23:35, 18 October 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

I propose that Prisoners' rights be merged into Prisoner. A separate article is unnecessary. A section within the destination article would best serve visitors. Anna Frodesiak (talk) 06:04, 5 August 2011 (UTC)

  • Oppose Many books have been devoted solely to the topic of Prisoners' Rights. It is therefore a substantial topic and so merits separate treatment. Warden (talk) 16:11, 21 October 2011 (UTC)