Discussion about the problem of prisonization based on our own research


Assuming after Clemmer (1940) that prisonization is a process of adaptation to prison conditions, which (especially in the case of long-term prisoners) inevitably involves negative changes occurring in the functioning of the individual, the authors of the study set themselves the goal of checking whether those sentenced to 25 years in prison (N = 124) perceive prison isolation as a stressful situation (author’s questionnaire); what is their level of anxiety (STAI – questionnaire for studying anxiety-trait and anxiety-state); what level of mental resilience characterizes this group of prisoners (Mental Resilience Scale in Kaczmarek’s adaptation) and how they assess their mental health (GHQ-28 – Goldberg Mental Health Assessment Questionnaire). The research partly confirms Clemmer’s thesis – as the length of imprisonment increases, convicts perceive imprisonment more strongly as a stressful situation, and assess their mental health as worse. At the same time, studies have shown that the level of anxiety over time weakens and their mental resilience, i.e. the ability to cope constructively in adverse conditions, increases. Therefore, one should also admit that Clemmer’s opponents might be right as well.


psychological crisis; prisonization; mental health of prisoners; resiliency; surveys

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Published : 2020-11-01

Miszewski, K., & Miałkowska-Kozaryna, M. (2020). Discussion about the problem of prisonization based on our own research. Resocjalizacja Polska, (19), 319–335. https://doi.org/10.22432/pjsr.2020.19.19

Kamil Miszewski 
Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej im. Marii Grzegorzewskiej  Poland
Milena Miałkowska-Kozaryna 
Akademia Pedagogiki Specjalnej im. Marii Grzegorzewskiej  Poland

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