Black Rage in the American Prison System by Rosevelt L. Noble

By Rosevelt L. Noble

Noble's thesis is that African-American inmates delivery "black rage" into the legal culture, which considerably impacts legal violence premiums. He unearths prior reports superficial and increases the bar for destiny examinations by way of presenting a delicate and taboo conception to give an explanation for the powerful racial styles saw in legal victimization. Noble's paintings helps the importation concept of the inmate culture proposed via Irwin and Cressey. He builds on their concept through advocating for the inclusion of race and different cultural components about the inmate and employees populations into predicative types. He concludes that prisons with better racial disparities among the inmate and employees populations event greater employees attack premiums.

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He’s been rapedpolitically, economically, morally raped. He sees this now, but his mind’s still small so he’s getting back this way. But it’s just a beginning. (Carroll 1974: 185) To bring greater balance to the power scale, Black inmates desire to victimize those Whites who possess a certain degree of power. A successful assault results in the transference of power from the victim to the aggressor. A statement from a Black inmate from Illinois captures this power dynamic: In the prison, the Black dudes have a little masculinity game they play.

Blacks interpret the routine enforcement of particular prison rules as acts of racial prejudice (Fox 1982; Carroll 1982). For example, the events leading to the 1967 race riot at San Quentin Correctional Facility began when a White guard in the San Quentin dining room “tried to take a cup of milk from a [Black] prisoner Race and Prison Violence 23 and then gave him a disciplinary report for having the milk” (Irwin 1980: 84). Although this appears to be a rather trivial event, the prisoner’s Black coworkers attributed the act to racial prejudice, and their objection to this act began the sequence of events leading up to the riot (Irwin 1980).

Therefore, one does not know exactly which inmates encompassed the White and Black samples in their analysis. Finally, the use of ex-convicts as research assistants confounds their study. Ellis et al. (1974) relied on self-reported prison assaults as the dependent variable in their individual level analysis. However, the studies findings were perhaps inaccurate given that Ellis and “a number of ex-inmates, who were hired as research assistants,” conducted the interviews (19). Having ex-inmates as interviewers may contribute to an over-exaggeration of reported assaults, potentially masking any true racial differences in prison violence.

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