Date: May 2006
Creator: Nation, Patricia Ann Campo
Description: The problem examined is community solidarity in a well-established prison town. The primary question addressed in this study is "what is the reported impact of a correctional facility's presence on community solidarity?" This study is concerned with the community's perception about the problems, as well as the benefits involved in the housing of a prison and in particular the solidarity of the community. The relevant literature dates from 1929 to 2004 and examines a wide range of concepts associated with community studies and prison studies. Based on themes found in the review of prison literature; work issues, safety, concern about children, stress, community image, benefits, community identity, and community cohesion, seven research questions were constructed. A semi-structured interview was conducted of 81 residents of Walker County in Huntsville, Texas. Huntsville houses 9 prisons. The prison system is the primary employer in the county. A qualitative data analysis using Altius/tr as a tool for content analysis was used. Throughout the data, community residents consistently indicated solidarity. Emerging from the data were seven themes associated with community solidarity:(a) unqualified community pride, (b) normalization, (c) defensiveness against the media, (d) qualified community pride, (e) denial, (f) community and myths, (g) economics.
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