(Re)turning point? Confinement, coping and change
14:00 – 17:00, April 4th 2014.
Senate Room,Main Building, University of Glasgow, G12 8QQ
- Introduction by Colin McConnell – Chief Executive of the Scottish Prison Service
- Doing well or just doing time? A qualitative study of psychological adjustment in prison. Dr Esther van Ginneken, Liverpool Hope University
- The impact of personal circumstances, the prison environment and obstacles after release on the transformative power of prison. Dr Marguerite Schinkel, University of Glasgow
- Response: How effective is research on prison effects? Professor Shadd Maruna, Queen’s University Belfast
- Q&A session chaired by Professor Fergus McNeill, University of Glasgow
- Informal drinks reception
The event is FREE but ticketed. Please register your place at Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/returning-point-confinement-coping-and-change-tickets-10626154113
Doing well or just doing time? A qualitative study of patterns of psychological adjustment in prison. Dr Esther van Ginneken, Liverpool Hope University
Esther’s research explored how prisoners had adjusted to imprisonment and the potential implications for life after release. The research was based on interviews with 15 male and 15 female prisoners who were serving between five months and five-and-a-half years and who were close to their release. Even in the same prison environment, there was a large variation in prison experiences, levels of distress among prisoners and to what extent participants viewed their sentence as a ‘turning point’. There appeared to be an important difference between ‘just doing time’ and ‘doing well’. The presentation will discuss what flourishing in a prison environment may look like and how it may be facilitated. Prisoners who were ‘doing well’ expressed optimism about the future and their ability to stay away from crime after release. It will be discussed to what extent good adjustment in prison may be related to a successful return to society.
The impact of personal circumstances, the prison environment and obstacles upon release on the transformative potential of prison. Dr Marguerite Schinkel, University of Glasgow
Drawing on research with 27 male long-term prisoners this talk examines the impact of personal circumstances, the prison environment and structures of life outside on the extent to which these men saw themselves as transformed by their imprisonment. It links a positive prison regime to an adaptation of shrinking the world down to the prison walls, but also discusses how limited rehabilitation meant that many of the men did not tell a (coherent) story of change. Drawing on interviews with men on license, it shows the negative consequences that withdrawing mentally into prison can have after release and how positive change is hindered by a lack of opportunities to develop a new identity.