How does prison visiting affect female offenders' mental health? Implications for education and development

How does prison visiting affect female offenders' mental health? Implications for education and... Purpose – The aims of this paper are to determine the state of visiting for women in the English prison system and to explore the relationship between women's mental health and visits in prison. Design/methodology/approach – For the purpose of this paper the authors conducted a review of the literature. All literature published from 1983 onwards was included to coincide with the introduction of Pat Carlen's (1983) campaigning group Women in Prison (WIP). The review focused on all literature from England and Wales to reflect the National Criminal Justice System and used an inclusion criteria to achieve this. Findings – The review revealed key themes including visit rejection, the importance of visits for maintaining identity and the contradicting emotions that women in prison experience when visited. Originality/value – Social relationships and family ties are protective factors for prisoners' mental wellbeing, yet the number and frequency of visits to offenders in custody has declined. The potential role for prison visiting schemes to improve the mental wellbeing of women in custody is explored, including the implications for the education and training of staff and visitors involved in the visiting process. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice Emerald Publishing

How does prison visiting affect female offenders' mental health? Implications for education and development

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1755-6228
DOI
10.1108/17556221211287235
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The aims of this paper are to determine the state of visiting for women in the English prison system and to explore the relationship between women's mental health and visits in prison. Design/methodology/approach – For the purpose of this paper the authors conducted a review of the literature. All literature published from 1983 onwards was included to coincide with the introduction of Pat Carlen's (1983) campaigning group Women in Prison (WIP). The review focused on all literature from England and Wales to reflect the National Criminal Justice System and used an inclusion criteria to achieve this. Findings – The review revealed key themes including visit rejection, the importance of visits for maintaining identity and the contradicting emotions that women in prison experience when visited. Originality/value – Social relationships and family ties are protective factors for prisoners' mental wellbeing, yet the number and frequency of visits to offenders in custody has declined. The potential role for prison visiting schemes to improve the mental wellbeing of women in custody is explored, including the implications for the education and training of staff and visitors involved in the visiting process.

Journal

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and PracticeEmerald Publishing

Published: Nov 30, 2012

Keywords: Women; Prisons; Wellbeing; Visits; Mental health services; Quality of life; United Kingdom; Personal health

References

  • Mothers in prison: between the public institution and private family relations
    Enroos, R.
  • Representations of attachment relationships in children of incarcerated mothers
    Poehlmann, J.

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