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Surviving Prison: Exploring prison social life as a determinant of health

Surviving Prison: Exploring prison social life as a determinant of health Prison social environments play an important role in the health of prisoners. How they respond to imprisonment is partially dependent upon how effectively they integrate into an institution’s social structure, learn to fit in with others and adapt to and cope with becoming detached from society, community and family ‐ hence, how they personally manage the transition from free society to a closed carceral community. This paper reports on findings of an ethnography conducted in an adult male training prison in England, which used participant observation, group interviewing, and one‐to‐one semi‐structured interviews with prisoners and prison officers. The research explored participants’ perceptions of imprisonment, particularly with regard to how they learned to adapt to and ‘survive’ in prison and their perceptions of how prison affected their mental, social and physical well‐being. It revealed that the social world of prison and a prisoner’s dislocation from society constitute two key areas of ‘deprivation’ that can have important health impacts. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Prisoner Health Emerald Publishing

Surviving Prison: Exploring prison social life as a determinant of health

International Journal of Prisoner Health , Volume 2 (2): 19 – Jan 1, 2006

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1744-9200
DOI
10.1080/17449200600935653
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Prison social environments play an important role in the health of prisoners. How they respond to imprisonment is partially dependent upon how effectively they integrate into an institution’s social structure, learn to fit in with others and adapt to and cope with becoming detached from society, community and family ‐ hence, how they personally manage the transition from free society to a closed carceral community. This paper reports on findings of an ethnography conducted in an adult male training prison in England, which used participant observation, group interviewing, and one‐to‐one semi‐structured interviews with prisoners and prison officers. The research explored participants’ perceptions of imprisonment, particularly with regard to how they learned to adapt to and ‘survive’ in prison and their perceptions of how prison affected their mental, social and physical well‐being. It revealed that the social world of prison and a prisoner’s dislocation from society constitute two key areas of ‘deprivation’ that can have important health impacts.

Journal

International Journal of Prisoner HealthEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 1, 2006

Keywords: Prison health; Prison community; Prison social life

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