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By Marguerite Schinkel (auth.)

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Extra resources for Being Imprisoned: Punishment, Adaptation and Desistance

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They expressed different views that centred on the same theme, and used different words to express these views, rather than repeating more or less the same point. These critical views are therefore much less likely to have been the result of a group discourse. There were again occasions, though, where the critical view sat in uneasy tension with more supportive views of reform or rehabilitation within the prison (for example, compare Andy’s quote above with the ones in the following section). ‘As if’ reform Several of the interviewees perceived reform in elements of their imprisonment where there was none intended.

When she phones you ‘I’m sitting here with such and such’. ’ I was stuck in that position like that [freezes] I’m caught out there, you know what I mean, there was nothing I could say or do, because I’ve already done the guy, but that was the sort of scenario they put you in, you know? (Gordon) The detail in this description shows how important the interaction described was in initiating change for Gordon. The ease and enthusiasm with which he related this story, not being a great storyteller in the rest of the interview, suggests that he had told it before (Hydén, 2008), reflected upon it and saw it as a pivotal moment.

Phew, honestly I don’t know. I can’t/ I just DID, I just did benefit out of it, it just made me kind of a better person, ken. The way in which James closed down the discussion of the benefits of the courses he had taken makes it clear that this was not a topic about which he had a lot to say or on which he had reflected. Similarly, Malcolm was not able to articulate an answer to my question. This mirrors McKendy’s (2006) findings that men in prison often tell fragmented and inconsistent accounts because they have to marry their own experiences of deprivation with the discourses promoted by the prison, notably taking responsibility for their crimes.

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