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Om Being Imprisoned
Little attention has been paid to the way in which criminal punishment is interpreted and narrated by offenders. This book uniquely addresses this area, examining the narratives of long-term prisoners with a special focus on the meaning they ascribe to their sentence, its impact on their lives and how it affects their inclination to offend in the future. Through a range of in-depth narrative interviews with male prisoners at different stages of their sentences, Schinkel considers their views on the legitimacy of their sentence, analysing what factors play a role in the shaping of these perspectives including life circumstances and the effects of rehabilitation. Exploring what purposes of punishment prisoners support and perceive as achieved by their sentence, the book argues that the need to survive the prison environment and the need to tell a progressive narrative outweighed the individual characteristics of each case, leading prisoners to accept their sentence even when they had cause to oppose it. Being Imprisoned offers new insights into how prisoners perceive their sentences and brings together issues of prison life, the moral performance of prisons, desistance and the purposes and legitimacy of criminal punishment.