This book presents a substantial new statement on the character of social life in confinement. Drawing upon extensive fieldwork in two contrasting English maximum security prisons, the authors systematically compare their institutional order, including the differing control strategies deployedin each, as seen by both custodians and captives, controllers and controlled. The authors discuss the implications of their research for the tradition of sociological concern within the`prison community'. They re-examine the resources of that rich but latterly somewhat dormant field in the light ofsome of the main currents in contemporary social theory, and thereby provide a new perspective on the `problem of order' in maximum custody. This book will have significant policy implications, and it will be required reading for scholars and students in criminology and criminal justice, as well asfor administrators and reformers in penal system.