Editor’s Choice : Inmate Tattoos and In-Prison and Post-Prison Violent Behavior

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Inmate Tattoos and In-Prison and Post-Prison Violent Behavior
Pages 20-31
William D. Bales, Thomas G. Blomberg and Kevin Waters

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.6000/1929-4409.2013.02.4

Published: 29 March 2013

 


Abstract: Despite more than a century of interest and extensive literature on tattoos and crime, the potential relationship between inmate tattoos and in-prison violence and post-prison recidivism for violent crimes has been largely ignored in prior criminological research. The present study responds to this research void by providing a comprehensive empirical assessment of inmate tattoos and in-prison violence and post-prison recidivism for violent crimes. The study employs a cohort of 79,749 adult inmates in Florida prisons between 1995 and 2001 and follows the cohort both while incarcerated and over a three year post-release period to determine any potential relationship between tattoos and in-prison violence and post-prison recidivism for violent crimes. Among the findings are that inmates with at least one tattoo, and particularly those inmates with numerous tattoos, are more likely to commit in-prison infractions for violent behaviors and post-prison recidivism for violent crimes. The study concludes with a summary and discussion of the findings in relation to theory and policy.

Keywords: Inmates, tattoos, violence, recidivism..
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