In this Book

The Ohio State University Press
summary
What do we know first-hand about prisons? We have accounts from many top administrators. There is a large literature of convict reports and memoirs. But we have almost no personal accounts written by the people who were engaged in the day-to-day work of guarding and keeping prison inmates. In Prison Work, former California prisons corrections officer William Richard Wilkinson candidly tells what it was like to try to handle problems that can arise in prison, from furnishing three meals a day to quelling a riot. Constructed around a series of interviews with Wilkinson, this book recounts his extensive experience with discipline problems, wrong-headed administrators, contraband, and escapes. Wilkinson’s story presents a blunt, unabashed view of daily life in prison, including fascinating discussions of racial and religious conflict, gangs, and prison violence as well as the institutional culture and more human side of life as experienced by a prison employee. The duration of Wilkinson’s career (1951–1981) saw the greatest change in the American prison system. He was responsible for implementing change on the level of the prison block. At the California Institution for Men in Chino, he started out under the inspiring leadership of one of the most famous reform figures in penology. At the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, he participated in one of the great prison experiments when medical officials ran a maximum security prison. And at Soledad, he experienced the reaction to earlier liberal policies. Over the years, he accumulated much wisdom concerning how to handle convicts—wisdom that still has importance for corrections workers.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Title Page, Copyright
  2. restricted access Download |
  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. List of Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-viii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Editors' Introduction
  2. pp. ix-xxiii
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Note to the Reader
  2. pp. xxiv-xxvi
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Introducing Dick Wilkinson
  2. pp. xxvii-xxx
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 1. Chino—An Ideal Beginning
  2. pp. 1-36
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 2. The California Medical Facility: Starting It, and Getting It To Work
  2. pp. 37-63
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 3. My Experience with Everyday Problems at CMF
  2. pp. 64-97
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 4. Trying to Hold Things Together During Change at CMF
  2. pp. 98-134
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 5. Soledad, 1977-1981
  2. pp. 135-159
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Chapter 6. Reflecting on Being an Employee in the Prison System
  2. pp. 160-190
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. How This Memoir Was Produced
  2. pp. 191-192
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Index
  2. pp. 193-200
  3. restricted access Download |
  1. Other Titles in the Series
  2. restricted access Download |
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.