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09 26 Lecture Notes - Disciplining through Force - a Death in Custody.docx

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Western University
Sociology 1021E

Disciplining Through Force: a Death in Custody Looking at Ashley Smith’s case brings the question of physical discipline in prisons (which is illegal) or the treatment of women in general Challenges of Women- Centered Research Too few to count - Less than 20% of prison population - Androcentricity (male behaviour is human behaviour) The emphasis in research is on men – their recidivism, etc. Research on women in the system is much harder because there are so few of them. Sexism in research - Overgeneralization o Add women and stir (we take theoretical explanations and assume that what works for men works for women – i.e. strip searching has the same impact on prisoners, no matter the gender.) The studies were hardly being done in the USA and weren’t at all in Canada – can’t even try to say “this happened here, so we’ll apply the same thing there” Research Questions Did the institutional response increase her suicidal and self-injurious behaviour? (Is what the system doing causing her behaviour? To ask about the opposite is psychology) - Independent and dependent variables Things like strip searching, exposure to Tasers, mace and pepper spray. Is the effect of punishment gendered? Does it affect men and women differently? - Need to compare data These are almost unanswerable because of the lack of data. Conceptual Mapping School expulsion Probation  Federal Prison;  Segregation; Tasers;  Forced transfers  Death; no Youth Detention No treatment Chemical restraints and sedation staff response During this cycle, Ashley’s defiant behaviour, suicide attempts, and self-injury gets progressively worse, this causes longer segregation, more exposure to Tasers and more “need” for chemical restraints Research Design Considerations Exploratory: unique and unknown Population: incarcerated - Access restricted (they’re not going to let just anyone in, especially if they’re questioning the use of force on prisoners) -
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