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This paper discusses the quality of prison life and prison size in relation to the notion of ‘Scandinavian exceptionalism’. Using the questionnaires ‘Measuring the Quality of Prison Life’ (MQPL) for prisoners and ‘Staff Measuring the Quality of Prison Life’ (SQL) for staff, data were...
As penal power has been transformed in recent years, so too have relationships between prisoners and staff. This article discusses how these relationships are forged by the terms of ‘neo-paternalism’, focusing in particular on what is labelled ‘soft power’. It describes some of the...
This paper unravels the presence of humour in prison as an institutionalized aspect of prison life. The analysis shows how officers use humour to manage their relationships with prisoners and other staff, and how they make use of humour to establish a collective understanding of the officer job,...
This article explores emotional labour strategies among Swedish prison officers, and shows how these affect their well-being. Case studies of five Swedish prisons and a national survey of prison officers are used. Analysis indicates that prison officers perform complex forms of emotional labour....
This article presents a typology of prison officer approaches to caring for prisoners, based on qualitative fieldwork in one men’s and one women’s prison. Five distinct approaches were identified: true carer, limited carer, old school, conflicted and ‘damaged’. Officers with each caring...
The purpose of this paper is to provide a framework for thinking about the work of prison officers. It is a well-known maxim that relationships are ‘at the heart’ of prison life (Home Office, 1984). In this paper, I develop and illustrate this proposition, arguing that the moral quality of...
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