Prison Guards as Agents of Social Control

  • John R. Hepburn
Part of the Law, Society and Policy book series (LSPO, volume 4)


The fundamental task of prison guards is to maintain control over prisoners, thereby assuring that the prison will operate in a smooth and orderly fashion. Their ability to do this depends on the types of control available within the prison and on their position within the control structure of prisons. We shall examine the control structures available to guards, recent trends in altering the tasks of the guards, and how these relate to the principal task of maintaining control over prisoners.


Social Control Prisoner Population Role Ambiguity Correctional Officer Legitimate Power 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Hepburn
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Justice StudiesArizona State UniversityTempeUSA

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