Adapting to the Game of Law

Adam D. Reich

in Hidden Truth

Published by University of California Press

Published in print July 2010 | ISBN: 9780520262669
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947788 | DOI:
Adapting to the Game of Law

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This chapter explores the differences in the ways in which young offenders react to juvenile prisons and correctional facilities. Every young man in a juvenile correctional facility must somehow make sense of the stringent rules, close supervision, and corrective programs they confront at the facility, and they do so in a variety of ways. Some of the young men admitted to juvenile prisons incorporate the juvenile prison into their understanding of the Game of Outlaw, using prison time to reinforce their conception of outsider masculinity and enhance their resources in the Game of Outlaw. Others accept the Game of Law at its word and try to live up to the conceptions of masculinity the juvenile prison elaborates. For residents, activities oriented toward one game to the exclusion of the other make success at either in some ways more difficult. Each of these adaptations fails: the former through enhanced commitment to the Game of Outlaw, the latter through a “successful” escape from crime into the world of low-wage work.

Keywords: juvenile prisons; correctional facilities; young offenders; masculinity; Game of Outlaw

Chapter.  5729 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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