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Criminal Diversions: Newspapers, Entertainment, Sport, and Physical Culture in New York Prisons, 1899-1920

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Criminal Diversions: Newspapers, Entertainment, Sport, and Physical Culture in New York Prisons, 1899-1920

Jorgensen, Lisa (2016) Criminal Diversions: Newspapers, Entertainment, Sport, and Physical Culture in New York Prisons, 1899-1920. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

Prisons in New York in the early twentieth century were becoming modern institutions. In my dissertation I examine the cultural dimensions of the prison reforms that were part of the progressive era “new penology” movement that fundamentally altered life in prison in this period. In researching this largely neglected area of prison reform, and the particularly neglected period between 1899 and 1913, I have discovered that the major reforms instituted across the prison in the state in 1913 were part of a much more gradual process than previously thought. I argue that the prisoner-produced newspapers, the entertainment and leisure activities, and physical culture programs that were introduced starting in 1899 laid the groundwork for the reforms to come. The prisoners and prison administrators used the recreation programs to present themselves to the public in a positive way, to forge new relationships between the prison workers and the prisoners, and to build new connections between the world of the prison and the world beyond prison walls. These changes led to a period of prisoner self-government that gave prisoners more power in the institution and helped to shape contemporary prison structures. �

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > History
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Jorgensen, Lisa
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:History
Date:15 September 2016
Thesis Supervisor(s):Razlogova, Elena
ID Code:981837
Deposited By: LISA JORGENSEN
Deposited On:09 Nov 2016 15:46
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:53
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