First Advisor

David A. Johnson

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in History




Oregon State Penitentiary, Prisons -- Oregon -- History



Physical Description

1 online resource (173 p.)


This thesis examines seven crises at the Oregon State Penitentiary between 1866 and 1968 which are symptomatic of a larger pathology of power at play at the institution. These prison crises brought the pathology of power out from behind the thick grey walls of the institution and to the eyes and ears of an uninformed public. This arousal of such attention forced the prison to re-evaluate its penal model, enact half-hearted reforms, but then resume to the institution's traditional pattern and style of punishment. This inability to address the crises or resolve the immediate problem points to a larger problem-namely a pathology of power. The pathology of power is evident in the prison administration's abuse of the political, financial, and physical power that the prison offers. This pathology is innate to the philosophy of the institution, regardless of the penal model then in application (rehabilitative or disciplinary).


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Persistent Identifier