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7 J. Res. Crime & Delinquency 1 (1970)

handle is hein.journals/jrcd7 and id is 1 raw text is: 

The Penal Press: Opportunities

    for Correctional Research*

                             JOSEPH  W. ROGERS
Chairman, Department  of Sociology and Anthropology, New Mexico State University
               Ph.D.  (Sociology), 1965, University of Washington
                        ELIZABETH  SMITH  ALEXANDER
    Counselor, Psychiatric Division, Student Health Center, Indiana University
           M.S. (Rehabilitation Counseling) , 1969, Indiana University

         Although  the penal press consists of over two hundred  publi-
       cations and has an estimated audience  exceeding  three hundred
       thousand  readers, surprisingly little research attention has been
       devoted  to it. This paper  attempts to focus  attention on  the
       penal press through  a merger  of interests in corrections, com-
       munication,  theory and content analysis.
         After providing  a brief background   of the penal  press, two
       particular publications are compared  through  content  analysis.
       Further examination   is attempted through  the incorporation of
       the concept  of neutralization from the work  of Gresham   Sykes
       and David  Matza.
         Since the intention of this paper is primarily suggestive rather
       than  conclusive,  demonstrative  rather  than   comprehensive,
       emphasis  is placed upon  the potential of the  penal press. Ac-
       cordingly, the conclusion suggests a number   of ways  in which
       this research vehicle might  be utilized to further correctional

S  OCIOLOGY   is  a   discipline well
    known   for its interests in correc-
tions, in communication,   and in  the
research method   of content  analysis.
A  principal  thrust of this paper  is
toward  merging  these  three interests
through  a focus upon  the penal press
as a potential vehicle for fruitful re-
search investigation and  analysis. To

  * This is a revision of a paper presented at
the 1968 annual meeting of the Midwest
Sociological Society. A portion of the research
reported in this paper was supported by
funds from  National Science Foundation
grants GY-2872 and GY-1032 to Kansas State

date, the  bulk of  concern  with the
penal  press has emanated   primarily
from  five sources, including sociolo-
gists, journalists, professional writers,
prison personnel,  and  from incarcer-
ated  inmates  themselves.'  Prior  to
presenting our own  results, it seems in

  1 Without question the singlemost out-
standing work is that of Russell N. Baird:
The Penal Press (Evanston, Illinois: North-
western University Press, 1967). He is a
Professor of Journalism at Ohio University.
Outside of the penal press itself, most of the
present literature may be found through the
following references (in order of publica-

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