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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…
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.
Formalised support services for prisoners that rely on peer methods of delivery show promising health and social outcomes but there is also conjecture that negative…
Formalised support services for prisoners that rely on peer methods of delivery show promising health and social outcomes but there is also conjecture that negative effects, both at an individual and organisational level, can occur. The paper aims to discuss these issues.
Individuals with recognised professional expertise from various sectors (including ex-prisoners) were invited to contribute to an expert symposium to share their perceptions of the positive and negative effects of peer interventions in prison. Discussions and debate were audio recorded with the consent of all delegates and verbatim transcripts were analysed using framework analysis.
According to the participants, peer interventions in the prison setting created both positive and negative impacts. It was clear from the evidence gathered that peer interventions in prisons can impact positively on health outcomes, but these effects were perceived to be more well-defined for peer deliverers. The notion that peer deliverers can be subjected to “burnout” suggests that supervisory processes for peer workers need to be considered carefully in order to avoid the intervention from being counter-productive. Organisationally, one of the salient issues was the adverse effects that peer interventions cause to the security of the prison.
To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first time an expert symposium has been conducted to specifically examine peer interventions in prison and to consider the effects, both positive and negative, of such schemes.
This paper focuses on the mental health of adult male prisoners and the mental health care provided within Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS), United Kingdom (UK)…
This paper focuses on the mental health of adult male prisoners and the mental health care provided within Her Majesty's Prison Service (HMPS), United Kingdom (UK). Currently, the level of mental health need within this population is high, and prison mental health services require additional positive developments. The prison milieu is not always conducive to good mental health, and is not often a useful catalyst for mental health care. Arguably, prison mental health services ought to be increasingly fashioned (commissioned, provided, managed and practised) in direct accordance with the prison social environment, institutional set‐up and specific mental health requirements of prisoners/patients. In this paper, therefore, attention is devoted to social and institutional structures which permeate the prison setting. The proposition is that situation‐specific and culturally responsive mental health care is a must; context is crucial.
One Stop Shops (OSSs) are a model of integrated delivery, where a range of needs are met in one place through a bespoke, person-centred service that works across…
One Stop Shops (OSSs) are a model of integrated delivery, where a range of needs are met in one place through a bespoke, person-centred service that works across organisational and sectoral boundaries. Third Sector Organisations provide OSSs for women in the criminal justice system and whilst they are shown to be effective in meeting complex needs, how this effectiveness is generated needs explaining. The purpose of this paper is to set out a preliminary framework for explaining their effectiveness.
A realist review was conducted to research the way in which context influences how OSSs work. This approach was chosen because it is designed to synthesise evidence on social programmes and policies which are complex. The review was conducted in two phases: theory building and theory refinement.
The review explains how individual, interpersonal, institutional and infrastructural contexts influence the effectiveness of OSSs. The evidence suggested that the organisational or legal form of the provider is not as important as the values and attitudes of their staff.
The paper adds to our understanding of how OSS services work, and gives insight for commissioners and Third Sector providers of services by beginning to explain how this effectiveness is generated.
Help-seeking behaviours are fundamental to mental health and well-being. This study is concerned with how male prisoners talk about help-seeking in order that treatment…
Help-seeking behaviours are fundamental to mental health and well-being. This study is concerned with how male prisoners talk about help-seeking in order that treatment programmes can be developed that better address their needs. The purpose of this paper is to discuss these issues.
Informed by Foucauldian and Social Constructionist philosophies, this discourse analysis draws on the interview transcripts of nine male prisoners, looking at the discursive constructions mobilised in relation to help-seeking and the implications these have for agency.
Three overarching discourses are identified: “man-up and deal with it”, “solidarity” and “authoritarian”. Prisoners resist formal help because of a perceived injustice in the system, disrespect for staff and feeling helpless when they are “bombarded with medication to keep quiet”. When they do engage with formal help-seeking behaviours it is frequently “to work the system”. Generally, they are more motivated to engage with informal help-seeking behaviours with each other, learning the knowledge like “a taxi driver” and sharing it with fellow prisoners although, for some, expressing emotion is like “an episode of Eastenders […] like a girlie programme”.
The qualitative nature of the analysis requires certain discourses to be privileged over others, acknowledging that there is no one truth. Further research is needed to explore informal sources of help-seeking within the prison population.
There is a need to develop treatment programmes that promote informal help-seeking strategies and work with prisoners in a facilitative rather than coercive manner.
To privilege the voices of prisoners.