In this chapter I want to do four things: first to pay tribute to a great teacher and friend, John Spencer to whom I am ever grateful for directing me to an enjoyable life in the academe; second to draw attention to a neglected area of penology: the analysis of a key role at the lower levels of power in prisons. Third I want to discuss the problem of inertia, or inherent resistance to change, in prison systems, the contribution to it by interest groups low in the hierarchies of rank, and the extent to which this can be explained by the theoretical concept of anomie. Finally I want to discuss some problems of relating research to penal policy that have arisen from my studies of penology in Canada, and to suggest that these may be of more general application.