Pelican Bay State Prison Analysis

2125 Words9 Pages
Abstract In this paper, the reader will learn about the social structure theory based on the video, “Pelican Bay State Prison: War Zone.” The paper will learn what social structure theory applies to the videos, the primary subject or content, social issues, major principles of sociological theory and the possible ramifications for social policy change. Examining Theory Paper There social structure theory is a theory that explains crime by reference to the economic and social arrangements in society. This type of theory emphasizes relationships among social institutions and discusses the types of behavior that tend to characterize groups of people rather than individuals (Schmalleger, 2012). There are three social…show more content…
This theory is defined as the pressure that individuals feel to reach socially determined goals. In 1938, Robert Merton defined this theory as delinquency as a form of adaptive problem solving behavior which the response to frustration and undesirable social environments. Merton states that goals such as wealth and personal happiness are often portrayed as desirable for everyone but means to these goals are equally available (Schmalleger, 2012). Because of the unavailability of these desires, this causes a strain, many turn to crime to get what they want/desire. The inmates in the Pelican Bay Prison have committed crimes, such as murder and robberies so they can get what they want without working for it. Many people who come from proof neighborhoods often choose crimes as a means of getting by because they feel that society is not set up to help…show more content…
He runs the gang known as the “Bloods”; anyone who is familiar with that gang knows that the rival gang is called the “Crips.” Based on the fact that the “Bloods” are not fans of the “Crips” and vice versa, this is the main social issue in the prison. The most violent and difficult to control inmates are housed in the Pelican Bay Prison, and as one prisoner says gang members strive to be sent to this prison for the notoriety; in seventeen years, no one has ever escaped. In one scene in the video, the inmates were out of the yard and because one of the leaders, ordered a hit, two inmates of two different races began to fight each other. The guards, though outnumbered managed to take control of the battle and they ordered everyone who was not involved in the fight to lie on the ground. The guards immediately took their metal batons and took the two guys down with the batons by hitting them on their legs. The guys were handcuffed and detained without further incident. No fights are to be held without orders from the leader or the fighters will be severely punished; they would wish they were killed instead of facing their leader. In another scene, the 300 Southern Mexicans attack the blacks; approximately 100 of them are armed with makeshift weapons. This riot is declared one of the biggest in the Pelican Bay State Prison’s history. The guards

More about Pelican Bay State Prison Analysis

Open Document