Physical violence inside prisons: Rates of victimization

Nancy Wolff, Cynthia L. Blitz, Jing Shi, Jane Siegel, Ronet Bachman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


This study estimates prevalence rates of inmate-on-inmate and staff-on-inmate physical victimization. Inmate participants were drawn from 13 adult male prisons and 1 female prison operated by a single mid-Atlantic state. A total of 7,221 men and 564 women participated. Rates of physical victimization varied significantly by gender, perpetrator, question wording, and facility. Prevalence rates of inmate-on-inmate physical violence in the previous 6 months were equal for males and females. Men had significantly higher rates of physical violence perpetrated by staff than by other inmates. By facility, inmate-on-inmate prevalence rates ranged from 129 to 346 per 1,000, whereas the range for staff-on-inmate was 83 to 321 per 1,000 (but the difference was not statistically significant).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-599
Number of pages12
JournalCriminal Justice and Behavior
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Psychology(all)
  • Law


  • Physical victimization
  • Prevalence rates
  • Prison violence

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Physical violence inside prisons: Rates of victimization'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this