First Advisor

Keva M. Miller

Date of Publication

Fall 11-21-2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Social Work and Social Research


Social Science




Prisoners -- Social networks, Interpersonal relations, Prison psychology



Physical Description

1 online resource (vi, 159 pages)


Scholars argue that prison rule violations are a way to assess whether individuals are engaging in prosocial behaviors. Individuals who engage in prosocial behaviors, during periods of incarceration, are less likely to engage in behaviors that result in official rule violations. Decreasing rule violations is one way to work towards a safer prison environment, while also preparing individuals for release. The current study uses cross-sectional data form the 2004 Survey of Inmates in State and Federal Facilities, in order to examine whether multiple types of prisons programs, which will be framed as various types of social supports, influence the frequency of rule violations. The goal was to assess whether various types of social supports influenced behaviors, while also examining whether behaviors changed as social supports increased. Individuals, who admitted to committing at least one major rule violation, were included in the sample (N = 5,943). Hierarchical regressions were run to assess how the combination of various social supports, race, educational attainment, and time served impacted total rule violations. Results suggest that there is not a statistically significant association between increased social supports and rule violations. Findings show that having a work assignment significantly decreased rule violations, and that White participants committed fewer rule violations. Implications for future research, policy, and practice are presented.


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