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Deterioration and the long term prisoner: a descriptive analysis of Myra Hindley

Mark Pettigrew (School of Law and Criminology, University of Derby, Derby, UK)

International Journal of Prisoner Health

ISSN: 1744-9200

Article publication date: 13 June 2016



The purpose of this paper is to explore supposed inevitable personal decline for long-term prisoners, particularly those serving a sentence of life without parole.


Using the prison records of a life without parole sentenced prisoner.


Findings suggest that prisoner deterioration is not inevitable in a whole life prison sentence.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are based on one account, of a female prisoner.

Practical implications

Distinct services and support are required for those with a natural life prison sentence.


To date, there is limited research of prisoners serving life without parole, particularly the mental health implications of denying a prisoner future parole.



Pettigrew, M. (2016), "Deterioration and the long term prisoner: a descriptive analysis of Myra Hindley", International Journal of Prisoner Health, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 115-126.



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