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Exploration of older prisoner’s social needs, who attended one of two prison initiatives for older people: an inductive phenomenological study

Exploration of older prisoner’s social needs, who attended one of two prison initiatives for... The purpose of this study was to explore the social needs and experiences of older prisoners who were attending one of two social initiatives in a prison in England.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is based on an interpretative phenomenological study, conducted in a prison in the South West of England. Older prisoners attending an initiative implemented for those over 55, a purposive activity or a social task group, participated in focus groups, which were audio recorded and thematically analysed.FindingsTwo overarching themes were identified. Firstly, the need to feel safe: prisoners felt attending an initiative provided them with a safe haven away from noisy and boisterous younger prisoners, who they perceived as different from them and who received preferential treatment. Secondly, being provided with a purpose: prisoners felt they belonged among their peers, which motivated them to attend and support group activities.Research limitations/implicationsThis study was completed in one prison. However, both initiatives supported the social needs of older prisoners and enabled them to leave their cells, although they felt unsafe when not attending an initiative.Originality/valueThere remains a need to support the process of integrating younger and older prisoners, by the provision of both integrated and separate initiatives, with the aim of developing cross-generational and bi-directional peer support. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Prisoner Health Emerald Publishing

Exploration of older prisoner’s social needs, who attended one of two prison initiatives for older people: an inductive phenomenological study

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1744-9200
DOI
10.1108/ijph-03-2020-0016
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the social needs and experiences of older prisoners who were attending one of two social initiatives in a prison in England.Design/methodology/approachThis paper is based on an interpretative phenomenological study, conducted in a prison in the South West of England. Older prisoners attending an initiative implemented for those over 55, a purposive activity or a social task group, participated in focus groups, which were audio recorded and thematically analysed.FindingsTwo overarching themes were identified. Firstly, the need to feel safe: prisoners felt attending an initiative provided them with a safe haven away from noisy and boisterous younger prisoners, who they perceived as different from them and who received preferential treatment. Secondly, being provided with a purpose: prisoners felt they belonged among their peers, which motivated them to attend and support group activities.Research limitations/implicationsThis study was completed in one prison. However, both initiatives supported the social needs of older prisoners and enabled them to leave their cells, although they felt unsafe when not attending an initiative.Originality/valueThere remains a need to support the process of integrating younger and older prisoners, by the provision of both integrated and separate initiatives, with the aim of developing cross-generational and bi-directional peer support.

Journal

International Journal of Prisoner HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: May 28, 2021

Keywords: Prisoners; Psychological health; Prison; Bullying; Elderly prisoners; Drug abuse

References