5A Entrances and Exits

Parallel Session 5A (Day 2 13.50-14.50)

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Entrances and Exits

Jayne Price (University of Liverpool) : ‘Exploring pathways and transitions between juvenile and adult penal institutions’

The literature on children held in custody describes how they can be particularly vulnerable (see Goldson, 2002a, Fitzpatrick and Williams, 2017, Gooch, 2016). Despite this, state institutions responsible for their care have been widely criticised for failing to provide a safe and rehabilitative environment (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, 2017). Upon turning eighteen, young people transition from the juvenile secure estate to young adult penal institutions. The National Offender Management Service (2012: 1) has acknowledged that this transfer represents a “challenging part of [young people’s] time in custody” due to the significant changes in regime, environment and peer group. Adult institutions hold significantly more people than the juvenile secure estate with some shared occupancy cells. Independent inspections of the adult estate have found disproportionately poor outcomes for the young adult population (aged 18-21) with 30% reporting spending less than two hours a day out of their cells (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, 2017). Upon entering an institution young adults are more like to report feeling unsafe (Harvey, 2012) suicidal or depressed on reception (Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Prisons, 2010). This transition into another negative environment can exacerbate such concerns. It has been argued that the conditions for those entering the young adult estate have remained stagnant or even deteriorated (NACRO, 2001, Bateman, 2015) due to the continued demise of a distinct estate and approach (House of Commons Justice Committee, 2016) for this group. This presentation will cover emerging findings of this research and will focus on what impact the changes in environment has upon young people who experience the transition.

Gudrun Brottveit (Department of Health and Welfare, Østfold University College) : The guarantee which disappeared

This paper is based on a participant-controlled research cooperation (Borg & Kristiansen 2009) with John, where I reflect on what I have learn about incarceration and return in meeting with him. John is now in his final phase of incarceration and on his way back to society. In light of Deleuze’ (1994, 2004) concepts of event, affect and desires, I have followed Jon`s reversal process as shifting scene pictures, materialized in time and space. His narratives show how society’s way of treating prisoners constantly creates newer spaces of incarceration, both inside and outside prison. My cooperation with John has taught me new ways to read punishment as application of torment. The theme of our recent conversations was his way back to society where John’s experiences tell us a lot about the correctional services’ view of human dignity. A few years ago Norway established what we call the reversal guarantee (Report No. 37 (2007-2008)), which emphasized that inmates’ return to society should be in focus from the start of the incarceration. The reversal should be throughout the whole stay and contact with home municipality and support services before relocation from prison should safeguard prisoners’ needs for resocialization in society. The reversal guarantee was not a statutory right in the legal sense, but a strong reminder of the importance of seeing the connection between crime and society, punishment and treatment, criminal policy and welfare policy. But that, which was supposed to be a special support for prisoners on their way back to society, was suddenly removed from the political agenda. What happened to the reversal guarantee and why does it crumble away before it was confirmed? What does this mean for prisoners? The paper will reflect on these questions together with John.

*Anna Schliehe (University of Cambridge); Kristian Mjaland (University of Cambridge); Julie Laursen (University of Cambridge) : ‘The pains of prison entry’ – spaces and practices of entering custody in the UK and Norway

Studying the ‘pains of imprisonment’ has been a key concern of prison sociology ever since Sykes’ (1958) classic study. However, rarely have the pains of entering prison been studied, and even more rarely through a comparative framework. In this paper we are drawing on the description of processes of prison entry and the significance of this status transition by the works of Goffman (1963) and others; while also seeking to highlight aspects from our own data which compares the experiences of entering custody in England & Wales and Norway. A benefit of this research design is that it enables a study of how different penal contexts shape ‘the pains of entry’ by focusing on the spatio-temporal aspects of what it is like to come into prison. The paper draws on data produced through a large research project, and consists of qualitative interviews with prisoners (N=263) and observation from five different prisons. In conclusion, we propose that a comparative study of ‘the pains of entry’ highlights important differences between ‘inclusionary’ and ‘exclusionary’ penal regimes that have not yet been accounted for in the debate on the ‘exceptional’ character of Nordic imprisonment.