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In Search of SafetyConfronting Inequality in Women's Imprisonment$
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Barbara Owen, James Wells, and Joycelyn Pollock

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520288713

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520288713.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 01 August 2021

Searching for Safety through Prison Capital

Searching for Safety through Prison Capital

(p.68) 4 Searching for Safety through Prison Capital
In Search of Safety

Barbara Owen

James Wells

Joycelyn Pollock

University of California Press

Women’s prison culture reflects gendered inequalities inside, mediating these inequities by mapping cultural routes toward survival and safety. At same time, this culture (the mix) creating the potential for risk and danger. Inequality within prison—with staff and among the confined women—is expressed in all relations in the prison community. This chapter outlines the strategies and tactics women deploy in their search for safety. Even in the face of risk and trouble, women do survive, endure, and sometimes thrive, as they learn how to protect themselves from the obvious and subtle threats to safety and well-being in the prison community. The search for safety is embedded in forms of prison capital—human, social and cultural capital women marshal to counter the myriad threats to their safety and well-being. These gendered strategies for navigating forms of violence and conflict specific to women’s incarceration can prevail over the gendered inequality that jeopardizes their search for safety.

Keywords:   prison culture, the mix, respect, hustles, prison capital, surviving prison, thriving in prison

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