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.

chapter |4 pages

General introduction

ByCarla Reeves

part I|107 pages

Cultures of imprisonment

chapter |4 pages


ByCarla Reeves

chapter 1|16 pages

Extrapolating the realities of stigma

Correctional officers ‘seeing’ prisoners versus prisoners ‘seeing’ correctional officers
ByRose Ricciardelli, Kimberley A. Clow

chapter 2|19 pages

‘Relax lads, you’re in safe hands here’

Experiences of a sexual offender treatment prison
ByNicholas Blagden, Christian Perrin

chapter 3|17 pages

Staff trauma in youth justice

Experience and responses from England and Australia
ByKate Gooch, Patricia McNamara

chapter 4|18 pages

(In)justice in prison – a biographical perspective

ByHolger Schmidt

chapter 5|15 pages

Masculinity, imprisonment and working identities

ByJennifer Sloan

chapter 6|16 pages

Mapping prison foodways

ByAmy B. Smoyer

part II|112 pages

Coping with the pains of imprisonment

chapter |4 pages


ByCarla Reeves

chapter 7|18 pages

Prisoners’ coping strategies in Portugal 1

ByLeonel Gonçalves, Rui Gonçalves, Carla Martins, Teresa Braga, Célia Ferreira, Marie Rosenkrantz Lindegaard, Anja Dirkzwager

chapter 8|19 pages

A European perspective on inmates’ perceptions of safety

ByKirstin Drenkhahn, Christine Morgenstern

chapter 9|20 pages

The perception of imprisonment and its effect on inmate violence

ByDaniel Wolter, Verena Boxberg

chapter 10|14 pages

Ageing prisoners

ByNatalie Mann

chapter 11|18 pages

Prison for women offenders in Serbia

Current situation and perspectives 1
BySanja Ćopić, Ljiljana Stevković, Bejan Šaćiri

chapter 12|17 pages

Physical and mental health issues of Israeli women inmates

ByTomer Einat, Gila Chen

part III|105 pages

The boundaries between the inside and outside worlds

chapter |3 pages


ByCarla Reeves

chapter 13|18 pages

A difficult disclosure

The dilemmas faced by families affected by parental imprisonment regarding what information to share
ByKelly Lockwood, Ben Raikes

chapter 14|16 pages

Work and training in prison as a form of imagined desistance

ByRobin Fitzgerald, Adrian Cherney

chapter 15|16 pages

Wrongly convicted and wrongly incarcerated

Exoneree experiences and public perceptions
ByKimberley A. Clow, Rose Ricciardelli

chapter 16|17 pages

Everyday life in UK probation approved premises for sex offenders

ByCarla Reeves

chapter 17|16 pages

Approved premises – more than a nine to five?

ByFrancis B. Cowe

chapter 18|12 pages

Staff experiences of parole supervision in Finland

ByMia Kilpeläinen

chapter |5 pages


ByCarla Reeves