Adding the ‘user’ perspective Objectives of the research What do the punished think of punishment?


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Adding the ‘user’ perspective Objectives of the research What do the punished think of punishment?

Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, US has reference to this Academic Journal, What do the punished think of punishment? Qualitative research on the experience of short prison in addition to community-based sentences in Scotland DR SARAH ARMSTRONG (Glasgow University) & BETH WEAVER (Strathclyde University) Howard League ECAN Seminar, 7 June 2011 *ESRC Grant RES-000-22-2881 supported this research. government targeting issue as part of larger reform programme frequent (excessive?) use ? up so that three-quarters of all prison sentences empirical documentation of their failure: 70+% re-convicted within two years Timeliness of research on short prison sentences in Scotland Methodology in addition to Sample Open-ended interviews of 35 people in prison (22) or on a community sentence (13) Men (26) in addition to women (9), ranging in age from 19-55 years old Crimes: mainly shoplifting/minor theft, assault (none on a stranger), breach of peace, drugs, technical violations of legal orders Questioned about: prior experience of short prison in addition to community sentences current experience: what’s it like, what are you getting up to, how does it feel purpose of punishment: of one’s current sentence, of these kinds of sentences generally comparative experiences: how does prison compare so that community sentences negative in addition to positive impacts of penal experience

 Gaines, Jennifer Edinboro University of Pennsylvania


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Objectives of the research Fill gap in knowledge: Gather information in consideration of most common but least studied sanctions in Scotland; build up a picture of this distinctive Scottish penal ?culture? How, not what: the experiences of doing sentences, their characteristic pains, not simply what is felt so that be harder/easier (ranking exercise), but how it works (has an effect or impact), how it makes a difference, how it fits into one?s wider life experience Adding the ‘user’ perspective 70% those release from a short sentence are re-convicted within two years ‘Lost my college place, lost my house.’ ‘getting you up, feeding you, getting you back so that the cell. it?s just a routine that goes on in addition to on.’ ‘you’re not allowed so that do education, you can’t do this, you can’t do that.’ ‘I?m goin out [of] here alongside basically nothing you know? I?m better off in not really a here, it holds no fear.’ I?ve got my own drug counsellors in addition to that outside so.i’ll just need so that wait in addition to go back out so that them . .because its not going so that happen in here The abiding feature of people serving a short prison sentence is the presence of a serious drug and/or alcohol problem

Never asked about, but information about addiction volunteered by nearly all those interviewed. Even where addiction wasn’t mentioned, being drunk or high was mentioned in all prisoners’ descriptions of offences. A pattern emerged of a life entangled by addiction in addition to criminal justice involvement. It is the cumulative effect of doing many short sentences, more than the experience of any single sentence, which carries the largely negative impacts of short-term imprisonment. For many, serving short sentences is a regular life activity In in addition to out ‘for 16, no 17 [years], since I was 19; I’ll be 36 in three weeks.’ Maybe 2 or 3 times a year I think, I done 3 sentences, 3 six month sentences in addition to a 4 week remand, last year. ‘Yeah, [I’ve done] 4 months, 6 months, 7 months, 8 months all that kind of [sentence]’ 35 year old man, theft, 180 days 36 year old man, theft, 60 days 29 year old woman, 180 days, assault in addition to breach

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A regular life activity of boredom, routinisation, infantilisation it?s a long weekend [locked up at a] quarter so that 5 on a Saturday then your back in your room in addition to that?s you til the next morning again.then it’s the same Sunday ? see the boredom in the rooms it would absolutely knock ye off yer head. Just locked in a room. ? You get outside in consideration of like half an hour everyday but it’s frozen, yer just outside standing. 39 year old woman, 190 days, ‘domestic’ Then, work, then you get your dinner, then work again in the afternoon . cleanin . Then ye get yer dinner then ye get locked up, then ye get oot again about half 6 in addition to yer locked up at say, quarter past 8. And that?s you, til next day. 55 year old woman, 120 days, breach of order Meanwhile, An adoption hearing came in addition to went A relationship alongside a girlfriend broke down Sick grandparents were forced so that look after a disabled child A college place was lost A training place was lost A place in residential drug treatment was lost Housing was lost A partner moved away alongside the children That?s the last 10 years I?ve been in in addition to out of prison. That was the biggest I was nearly out of it, I was doin so well alongside my nice house, I was startin so that take drivin lessons, I was startin so that feel things, goin right in consideration of me, in addition to the sentence I got I just felt pure, pure heartbroken y?know? I hit one ae yer officers in addition to I get sent tae prison ?He wis an off duty officer, that?s whit it wis. I was arguing wi my mate outside Morrisons in addition to he was an off duty copper. 35 year old man, breach of the peace, 180 days Positive effects of short prison stays were limited in addition to unpredictable

Many saw short sentences as a valuable period of detox; in consideration of some this was the start of a deeper resolve so that get clean. ‘I was addicted so that heroin, been on methadone in consideration of fifteen years in addition to today?s the first time I?ve came off it. I knew that I had a good chance of coming off in here because I don?t get drugs in prison. I usually only use em outside. After thirteen years it?s been a long time comin you know?.’ – 35 year old man, 180 days, shoplifting ?I was a heroin user in consideration of thirteen years before I come in here in addition to [hope] that doesn?t get back so that them but this is the best thing that ever happened so that me, honestly, I?ve come off it in addition to thinking that I never will go back on it again.’ – 37 year old man, 60 days, breach of the peace. First time in prison Estimated eight times in prison over 20 years People felt guilt, shame in addition to remorse in consideration of their actions, but prison was experienced as pointless, vindictive in addition to unable so that connect so that their sense of accountability. I?m nae entitled so that walk oot so that shops in addition to jist help myself. I realise that I?ve got so that be punished in consideration of daein it. ? [but prison’s] made me worse . I dinnae like any form of authority, like I?m anti-authority now. 55 year old woman, breach of order, 120 days There?s nae purpose, there?s nothing, nothing ever gets done in consideration of me in prison know what I mean, there?s no sort of, I come in here an comin off the drugs, an I get a detox in addition to that?s yer help, a detox, that?s you. Yer back out in addition to it’s not as if yer getting any help. 36 year old man, theft, 60 days The purpose is that, the purpose of having a short sentence is just so that get you out of circulation. They don?t achieve nothing by it, .you know you can?t put into a short sentence programme anything that. will help you outside 49 year old man, breach peace, 180 days If you go so that jail you done nothing, not a thing, in consideration of anybody. What can they say you paid back so that society? Time? Does society need time fae me spent lying in a cell? 44 year old man, community service Look at my previous convictions. If you’re so sure these fucking paltry sentences are doing me any good, look at my previous convictions. If I had gotten just one big one at the start I probably wouldn?t be here. 35 year old man, breaking & entering, 180 days

Given the choice almost all would have chosen a community sentence over a prison sentence. Community sentences were experienced as a more meaningful punishment than prison. ‘Paying back’ was the phrase used so that describe what punishment is meant so that accomplish You?ve took from society the money it costs so that keep you [in prison]. If you?re on community service, you can honestly turn round in addition to say you have worked in an old folks home, or delivered a bed so that young mum in consideration of her wean. Or you do work in the parks in addition to when you go by you can say, I done that. It makes a difference so that you when you can see you?ve done something whereas if you get 6 month you?ve done nothing. Vegetated in addition to got bitter in addition to tried so that work out how not so that get caught next time. 44 year old man, community service [I]t was gardens I was doing [for community service]. It was great, it was a right good laugh in addition to you felt a lot better doing something. Especially gardens cause you knew you were doing it in consideration of people who couldnae do it in consideration of themselves so you knew you were making a difference instead of being fucking stuck in a stupid wee 12 by 8 in addition to doing nothing in consideration of naebody. 35 year old man, breaking & entering, 180 days Concluding Thoughts Short stays in prison are experienced as resulting in the same negative effects as addiction: loss of family, job, prospects. .But were not experienced in themselves as particularly difficult form of punishment. Community sentences were experienced as more meaningful (and challenging) but sometimes also labelled a ‘soft option’ compared so that prison. Specifically Scottish penal culture? ‘Your past is always in front of you’.

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