|Abstract or Summary
- Relatively little, if any, research has been done in the area of attitudes of inmates toward the clothing, and clothing policies of correctional institutions. The purpose of this study was to provide exploratory research in the area of inmate attitude toward correctional institution clothing. The variables investigated were: age, race, educational level, vocational training, length of confinement, number of confinements, prior clothing worn, conformity to dress code, visibility of institutional marking on clothing, type of clothing worn (uniform or non-uniform), inmate voice in clothing codes, and number and type of personal items inmate is allowed to keep upon admission. The population was limited to the minimum security cell block inmates in three western maximum security prisons. An attitude measure was constructed, employing the Q-sort technique, to measure inmate attitude toward correctional institution clothing. A minimum sample of 50 inmates was randomly selected at each institution. Ten face-to-face interviews were conducted at Institution I. The remainder of the questionnaires were sent to the three institutions, distributed by staff, and returned by the inmates. Seventy-nine usable questionnaires were returned. The data were analyzed at two levels, institutional and group, or total sample. At the institutional level correlation coefficient and test of non-additivity (interaction) were used. At the group level, correlation coefficient, t-test, and analysis of variance were employed. The level of significance selected for this study was .10 or less. Of the three institutions, two permitted a choice between uniforms and non-uniform clothing. The third allowed only uniforms. The majority of the inmates were: 21-30 years of age, white, and had completed at least the twelfth grade. Forty percent had had some vocational training. Approximately half had served 1-5 years in the present institution, and were non-recidivists. The majority had worn casual clothing (Levi's, sport shirts) prior to confinement. Seventy-one percent wore uniforms, and 58 percent had made no modification in the uniform. Significant relationships between clothing attitude scores and the variables length of confinement and type of clothing worn were found at the institutional level. The results indicated: 1) The greater the length of confinement the more negative the attitude toward inmate clothing, 2) The wearing of uniforms was associated with more negative clothing attitudes. The most negative aspect of the inmate clothing was the dehumanizing effect of the uniform, followed by the color and pattern. It was recommended that the findings of this study may be helpful to those interested or actively involved with correctional institutions, especially administrators and those involved in program design, evaluation and modification.