Hypermasculinity and Incarceration: Exploring Barriers to Rehabilitation

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Corrections has a rich history centered around rehabilitation and its obtainability, and has seen the pendulum swing back and forth between rehabilitative and punitive policies. Currently, there is an emphasis

Corrections has a rich history centered around rehabilitation and its obtainability, and has seen the pendulum swing back and forth between rehabilitative and punitive policies. Currently, there is an emphasis on evidence-based practices which provides a unique opportunity to assess gaps in the rehabilitation literature as a means to ensure that rehabilitative-oriented policies are part of the forefront of corrections. One notable gap in the corrections and rehabilitation literature is that research has not assessed what influences meaningful participation in rehabilitative programming during incarceration. Past research has acknowledged that there is an inmate code, characterized heavily by hypermasculinity, that negatively influences behavior during incarceration, yet research has not examined whether this code influences engagement in rehabilitative programming. The current study seeks to address this gap by examining the inmate code, specifically hypermasculinity, as a barrier to rehabilitation during incarceration through in-depth interviews with five incarcerated individuals from a large Southwestern correctional facility. Findings, limitations, and future research suggestions are discussed.