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The Prison in My Backyard: Reconsidering Impact

The Prison in My Backyard: Reconsidering Impact

(p.113) Six The Prison in My Backyard: Reconsidering Impact
Big House on the Prairie
John M. Eason
University of Chicago Press

To understand prison impact, I use local perceptions to present the numerous challenges and opportunities provided by prison building. While the FCFCF is overwhelmingly viewed positively by residents in Forrest City and Wynne, this chapter also describes a disjuncture in local opinion: while local leaders portray the prison as a windfall, some residents have a more mixed reaction. Perceptions of prison impact are nuanced and differ with an individual’s position in the local social structure. To date, the few studies measuring prison impact focus on positive economic growth from prison placement. By understanding local rural perceptions of the prison’s impact, I call for a theoretical reorientation to measure prison impact.

Keywords:   prison impact, local perception, economic development

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