Violence in prison includes homicides, physical assaults, sexual assaults, fighting, rioting, possession of weapons, and the threats or attempts of these in prison. Although violence can and has been perpetrated by staff, it is mostly an unstudied topic and not much is known about prison staff violence. Prisoner violence has been well studied and is the main topic of this entry. Studying prison violence is important because violence has extremely high costs—in staff’s and prisoners’ lives, in physical injury, in emotional damage to its victims, in monetary costs to prisons as well as state and federal governments, in the lengthening of prison sentences and the increased use of high-security options including supermax prisons, and ultimately in decreasing the safety of communities. This entry includes information ...

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