Coping Strategies

Investigating How Male Prisoners Manage the Threat of Victimization in Federal Prisons



Rosemary Ricciardelli

The Prison Journal

December 2014




Researchers have established that prisons are violent spaces where prisoners use aggressive or passive strategies to manage the threat of victimization. Using in-depth semi-structured interviews, this study explores the coping strategies of 56 former Canadian federal prisoners. Most respondents used passive, aggressive, or passive/aggressive coping strategies. Differences emerged among respondents who used individual strategies (self-dependence) or alliance strategies (dependence on affiliates) to cope with prison living. Only alliance strategies appeared simultaneously passive and aggressive. Theoretical implications are discussed.








Human Services and Justice Coordinating Committee