1st Edition

Experiencing Imprisonment Research on the experience of living and working in carceral institutions

Edited By Carla Reeves Copyright 2016
    360 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    360 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The growing body of work on imprisonment, desistance and rehabilitation has mainly focused on policies and treatment programmes and how they are delivered. Experiencing Imprisonment reflects recent developments in research that focus on the active role of the offender in the process of justice. Bringing together experts from around the world and presenting a range of comparative critical research relating to key themes of the pains of imprisonment, stigma, power and vulnerability, this book explores the various ways in which offenders relate to the justice systems and how these relationships impact the nature and effectiveness of their efforts to reduce offending.

    Experiencing Imprisonment showcases cutting-edge international and comparative critical research on how imprisonment is experienced by those people living and working within imprisonment institutions in North America and Northern, Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Scandinavia. The research explores the subjective experience of imprisonment from the perspective of a variety of staff and prisoner groups, including juveniles, adult female and male prisoners, older prisoners, sex offenders, wrongfully convicted offenders and newly released prisoners.

    Offering a unique view of what it is like to be a prisoner or a prison officer, the chapters in this book argue for a prioritisation of understanding the subjective experiences of imprisonment as essential to developing effective and humane systems of punishment. This is essential reading for academics and students involved in the study of criminology, penology and the sociology of imprisonment. It will also be of interest to Criminal Justice practitioners and policymakers around the globe.

    Introduction, Carla Reeves, Part 1. Cultures of imprisonment: stigma, identity and interaction  Introduction, Carla Reeves  1. Extrapolating the realities of stigma: Correctional officers 'seeing' prisoners versus prisoners 'seeing' correctional officers, Rose Ricciardelli and Kimberley A. Clow  2. "Relax lads, youy're in safe hands here": Experiences of a sexual offender treatment prison, Nicholas Blagden and Christian Perrin  3. Staff trauma in youth justice: experiences and responses from England and Australia, Kate Gooch and Patricia McNamara  4. (In-)justice in prison - A biographical perspectives, Holger Schmidt 5. Masculinity, Imprisonment and Working Identities, Jennifer Sloan  6. Mapping Prison Foodways, Amy Smoyer  Part 2. Coping with the pains of imprisonment Introduction, Carla Reeves  7. Prisoners' coping strategies in Portugal, Leonel Gonçalves, Rui Gonçalves , Carla Martins, Teresa Braga, Célia Ferreira, Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard and Anja Dirkzwager  8. A European Perspective on Inmates’ Perceptions of Safety, Kirstin Drenkhahn and Christine Morgenstern  9. The Perception of Imprisonment and its Effect on Inmate Violence, Daniel Wolter and Verena Boxberg  10. Ageing Prisoners, Natalie Mann  11. Prison for women offenders in Serbia: current situation and perspectives, Sanja Copic, Ljilana Stovkevic and Bejan Saciri  12. Physical and Mental Health Issues of Israeli Women Inmates, Tomer Einat and Gila Chen  Part 3. The boundaries between the inside and outside worlds  Introduction, Carla Reeves  13. A difficult disclosure: the dilemmas faced by families affected by parental imprisonment regarding what information to share with others, Kelly Lockwood and Ben Raikes  14. Work and training in prison as a form of imagined desistance, Robin Fitzgerald and Adrian Cherney  15. Wrongly convicted, wrongly incarcerated: exoneree experiences and public perceptions, Kimberley A. Clow and Rose Ricciardelli  16. Everyday life in UK Probation Approved Premises for sex offenders, Carla Reeves  17. Approved Premises - more than nine to five?, Francis Cowe  18. Staff experiences of parole supervision in Finland, Mia Kilpeläinen  Conclusions, Carla Reeves.


    Carla Reeves is Subject Leader in Criminology at the University of Huddersfield, UK. Prior to joining the University in 2007 Dr Reeves was a Research Officer at Bangor University, during which time she also worked in a Probation Approved Premises (semi-secure hostel accommodation for high risk offenders being released from prison). Her research interests centre around sex offender management and networks (both formal and informal, virtual and real world) with a particular focus on offenders’ subjective personal and social experiences of such interactions within, and because of, criminal justice institutions. Alongside this is an allied interest in reintegration and resettlement and offenders’ active engagement with these processes.

    ‘As punitiveness and the growth of imprisonment become increasingly accepted around the world, Carla Reeves's book is particularly salient in refocusing on the lived experience of imprisonment revealing the profound human consequences. By drawing upon a range of international ethnographic and qualitative research, this book offers a sense of what it feels like to be in prison, the nature of the everyday social dynamics, and illuminates its entanglement with wider issues of globalisation, power and inequality. These are subjects that are essential for academics, students and practitioners’.   

    Jamie Bennett, Governor, HMP Grendon & Springhill, UK

    'Only a few years ago, senior scholars were bemoaning the death of prison ethnography and the absence of insight into daily life within custodial institutions. This volume not only proves that high quality research on the nature of confinement is thriving. By detailing the experiences of groups including sex offenders, the wrongly convicted and female prisoners, and by covering contexts including approved premises, young offender institutions and prisons from a range of jurisdictions, it also demonstrates that the scope of prison research has broadened considerably. This collection brings together a very impressive range of scholars and studies and represents an exceptionally strong and timely adornment to the literature on prisons and imprisonment’.

    Ben Crewe, Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre and Director of the M.St. Penology Programme at University of Cambridge, UK.

    'After decades of largely ignoring mass incarceration, academic penology is undergoing something of a renaissance in recent years. This genuinely international collection of studies conducted by some of the most exciting new researchers in this new movement strikes at the heart of the matter by asking the crucial questions: "What is incarceration and what does it do?" It should be required reading'.

    Shadd Maruna, Dean, Rutgers School of Criminal Justice