First Advisor

Douglas Morgan

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Public Administration and Policy


Public Affairs and Policy




Prison administration, Extradition, Prisons -- Overcrowding, Prison wardens



Physical Description

1 online resource (334 p.)


The purpose of this study is to explore the use of interstate inmate transfers (IITs) by prison wardens and the administrative intent that guide their use. This study assesses the explanatory power of the new penology in three cases and asks three broad questions of two prison wardens and the DOC: What correctional goals do you hope to accomplish with interstate inmate transfers? Why? And what contextual factors (if any) are felt to inhibit or facilitate these goals?

IITs are controversial. Supporters of IITs argue that in addition to serving the needs of correctional managers, they may also serve to help inmates reenter society, remain physically safe while incarcerated, remain close to family and friends, and have access to appropriate correctional programming and treatment. On the other hand, critics of IITs argue that they are much more than a correctional management tool. Rather, IITs are evidence of an informally emerging "new penology" in American corrections that—due to the increasingly problematic conditions of confinement encountered by correctional managers (e.g., overcrowding)—emphasize a shift in focus away from what is good for the individual inmate to what is good for managing the correctional system as a whole.

The case data collected in this research contradict, to a large degree, new penological assumptions. The findings point to high levels of ideological and behavioral autonomy among prison wardens as well as high levels of individualized and moralistic thinking with regard to inmate management, and a general feeling that correctional management at the institutional level is only situationally (rather than perpetually) stressful. Thus, the new penological assumption that criminal justice actors lack human agency or that inmates are thought of only in actuarial terms, may be an incorrect or incomplete assumption in relation to prison wardens and the intent of IITs in these cases. This study concludes that in order to better understand and possibly predict the administrative intent of IITs, an alternative theoretical framework should be utilized—one that better captures the dynamism and variability of influence that unique situational and dispositional factors (and their interaction) may have on administrative intent.


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