What is imprisonment? The purpose of this text, in bringing together a range of international studies exploring the experience of imprisonment from those working and residing in the system, is primarily to stimulate debate around what imprisonment really is. Beyond the rhetoric, policy, rules of practice and behaviour, laws and regulations, are the realities of what imprisonment is for prisoners and staff: is to be imprisoned, to enter and exit prison, to imprison: is to live with the effects and consequences of imprisonment. Of course, as the range of research encapsulated within these chapters crosses nations, continents and prisoner populations, the structures, policies, conditions, nuances of aims and purpose of imprisonment vary to differing degrees between the systems explored. But all of these chapters explore life at a level underlying these structural considerations – focusing on the daily interactions, constructions of meaning, fears and concerns, needs and aspirations of (ex) prisoners and staff. In doing so it cuts through the differences in the systems to consider what universal themes there are to prison life: shaped as they may be by structural influences. These allow the reader to consider fundamental questions about imprisonment: its role and purpose; effectiveness in achieving its aims; capacity for humaneness, impacts on inmates and staff. Questions which get to the heart of what prison is, should be and can be.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperiencing Imprisonment
Subtitle of host publicationResearch on the Experience of Living and Working in Carceral Institutions
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781317653486
ISBN (Print)9781138790469
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2016


Dive into the research topics of 'Conclusions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this