It’s been a while since I last posted. Not because nothing has happened, but because too many things have happened at once and not given me the time to step back and blog.
A few days ago, I submitted a manuscript based on my thesis to Palgrave, who will hopefully publish it as Being Imprisoned – Punishment, Adaptation and Desistance later this year. I love the prospect of having all my findings in once place. Journal articles have to be so short that when I write them, no real sense remains of the stories the men told about their sentence and their lives. In a book, more of their stories can be included. Even better, the reader can use the index to find all their parts and see how they interweave and sometimes contradict each other.
Tomorrow, I will be speaking at this event. I am excited and nervous. It’s my opportunity to speak to many people who have the power to influence prisoners’ journeys through their sentence and beyond. But many in the audience will know more about the obstacles people face and the sense that they make of their experiences than I do. When I was interviewing in the prison, staff there were not surprised to hear that many of my interviewees accepted their sentence to make their imprisonment easier. Indeed, they knew when this acceptance started (usually within the first six months) and how common it was (very). Hopefully, though, most of the audience will find at least some of my and Esther’s research findings interesting and Shadd Maruna is sure to be inspiring and entertaining, as always. The talks will be filmed, so if anyone is interested, check back here and I will post a link as soon as the video is on the internet.
A few weeks ago I went to Brussels, for a meeting of the European Society of Criminology’s Working Group on Prison Life and the Effects of Imprisonment. The presentations were illuminating and included discussions of food, masculinity and mental health in prison, the impact of the prison regime, how migration is managed through imprisonment and much more. Some of them (including mine) are available here.
After all this gallivanting around and sharing old findings, I am really looking forward to working on the Lives Sentenced project over the next few months. I will be attending induction in prison on Monday, so hopefully interviews with prisoners will soon follow. Once they have happened, I will be sure to share my thoughts here.