Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Criminal Justice and Criminology

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Wayne Gillespie

Committee Members

Steven J. Ellwanger, Michael C. Braswell


This study was undertaken to better understand inmate concerns of the prison environment across 8 dimensions. The 8 dimensions examined in this study were activity, emotional feedback, freedom, privacy, safety, social, structure, and support. To determine the importance of these dimensions among inmates, secondary data were used in an attempt to replicate and validate the findings from Wright's (1985) study which used a prison environment inventory instrument to assess inmate concerns. The secondary data consisted of an inmate sample of 1,054 taken from 30 prisons of minimum, medium, maximum and close security across the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio. Principal component analysis did not support Wright's findings of 8 dimensions but indicated that safety was the primary dimension of concern. Confirmatory factor analysis using structural equation modeling did find support for Wright's thesis.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.