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Discuss explanations of institutional aggression Institutional aggression refers to aggression within or between groups or institutions (e.g. armed forces, prisons). Much of the research on models of institutional aggression has been done in prison environments. The importation model suggests that inmates in prison bring their social histories and traits into prison with them. This influences their adaptation into the prison environment. People who were more aggressive outside of prison will be more aggressive in prison: they are not ‘blank slates’ when they enter prison. The importation model has some support from research studies. DeLisi et al. found a slight positive correlation between gang membership and aggression in prison, suggesting that aggression factors from before entering prison influence  aggression in prison. However, the relationship may not be causal as there may be intervening variables such as socioeconomic status or ethnicity. The deprivation model suggests that aggression in prisons and other institutions is the product of the stressful and oppressive conditions of the institution itself. For example, aggression in prisons can by catalysed by deprivation of liberty, lack of autonomy, lack of goods or services, lack of heterosexual relationship and absence of ample security. There is a substantial amount of research evidence to support this model. For example, McCorkle et al. found that overcrowding, lack of privacy & the lack of meaningful activity in prisons all significantly influence violence. However, these factors did not influence the likelihood of major collective acts of aggression (i.e. prison riots), suggesting that the deprivation model may only apply to some forms of aggression. Aggression in prisons can be controlled by improving conditions, showing that deprivation can increase aggression. For example, Wilson changed the deprivation conditions at HMP Woodhill, and levels of violence decreased, giving support to the…

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