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Social deprivation “Prisoners are people who have failed. Many will have had a long history of failure at home, at school, at work and at establishing.

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Presentation on theme: "Social deprivation “Prisoners are people who have failed. Many will have had a long history of failure at home, at school, at work and at establishing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Social deprivation “Prisoners are people who have failed. Many will have had a long history of failure at home, at school, at work and at establishing human relationships. It is unrealistic to expect that prison can achieve what better placed institutions in society have failed to do.” (Whitaker,1985) “socially and psychologically disabled… experienced domestic and street violence in their childhood, often as victims… exposed to violence in their later life and experienced circumstances and environments where a high risk of social, physical and mental damage was present… they are poorly educated and unskilled” (K. J. Lang, 1993)

2 ‘The whole person’ 1 “Prisons are filled with people in need of care and cure. Bad nerves, bad bodies, bad education – prisons are storing houses for deprived persons who stand in need of treatment and educational resources… if human beings are in prison to receive punishments, they ought to get a maximum of treatment to improve their general conditions and soften their pain. Treatment for crime has lost its credibility. Treatment has not.” (Nils Christie, 1982)

3 ‘The whole person’ 2 “There is simply no humane way that one human being can lock up another human being… even among the best motivated of professional staff, there is a tendency to see the inmate as prisoner first and as a patient, a student, an apprentice or a client second.” (Whitaker,1985) Education in prison should offer opportunities “for increased self-improvement, self-esteem and self- reliance”, rather than “the unrealistic goal of a reform to be accomplished in three months or three years” (Whitaker, 1985)

4 Council of Europe - regimes “conditions of life are compatible with human dignity and acceptable standards in the community” (EPR, 1987, 65) “sustain and strengthen those links with relatives and the outside community that will promote the best interests of prisoners and their families”. (EPR, 1987, 65) “life in prison shall approximate as closely as possible the positive aspects of life in the community”. (EPR, 2006, 5) “Education in prison shall aim to develop the whole person bearing in mind his or her social, economic and cultural context” (Education in Prison, 1990).

5 ‘Normality’ of prisoner students (McCormick, 1931) “Education of prisoners is fundamentally a problem of adult education... We need to stress the normality rather than the abnormality of our prisoner-students, to apply standard educational practice to the problem rather than to try to develop a special educational technique designed for the criminal.” Need to “consider the prisoner as primarily an adult in need of education and only secondarily as a criminal in need of reform” Offer “every type of educational opportunity that experience or sound reasoning shows may be of benefit or of interest to them, in the hope that they may thereby be fitted to live more competently, satisfyingly and co-operatively as members of society”

6 ‘Penal welfarism’ to a ‘Culture of control’ (Garland, 2001) Penal welfarism: “The state was to be an agent of reform as well as repression, of care as well as control, of welfare as well as punishment.” In the late 20 th cent, the ‘penal mode’ has become “more prominent… more punitive, more expressive, more security-minded…The welfare mode, as well as becoming more muted, has become more conditional, more offence-centred, more risk conscious.” Those who commit offences are “less likely to be represented in official discourse as socially deprived citizens in need of support. They are depicted instead as culpable, undeserving and somewhat dangerous”.

7 The ‘new punitiveness’ a very large increase in the level of incarceration an intensification of the controlling or restrictive aspects of prison (an increase in the ‘depth’ of imprisonment) and a characterisation of the prisoner in negative and one-dimensional terms.

8 ‘The needs of our clients’ “The sole priority of education is to get offenders into work – anything else is a means, not an end” (Lord Filkin, Minister for Offender Education, 2005) “First of all, prisoners/clients need to improve their self-confidence. Therefore all our efforts when organising correctional services should be analysed as to their ability to support, uphold and redress the self-esteem of the prisoner.” (K. J. Lang,1993)

9 Council of Europe – Education in Prison (1990) “Prison is of its very nature abnormal, and destructive of the personality in a number of ways. Education has, among other elements in the prison system, the capacity to render this situation less abnormal, to limit somewhat the damage done to men and women through imprisonment.” (1.8) “two overall complementary themes”: “firstly, the education of prisoners must, in its philosophy, methods and content, be brought as close as possible to the best adult education in the society outside; secondly, education should be constantly seeking ways to link prisoners with the outside community and to enable both groups to interact with each other as fully and as constructively as possible.” (1.5)

10 Denmark – principles for prison and probation work (Ministry of Justice,1994) 1. “Normalisation. The daily activities of the Prison and Probation Service shall in general…be related to normal life in the general community… 2. Openness. Prison and probation work shall be organised so that the offender is offered good opportunities to make and maintain contact with the ongoing life of the community… 3. Exercise of Responsibility. Prison and probation work shall be so organised that the offender has the opportunity to develop a sense of responsibility, self- respect and self-confidence and become motivated to actively strive for a crime-free life…”

11 How do we see prisoners? “Among the prisoners there are more and more offenders who have consciously chosen a criminal career and who are reluctant to quit it in the short term. However, the bulk of the prison population still consists of persons who have drifted into crime and who are socially maladjusted.” (Ministry of Justice, Finland, 1999) “The danger is now that these very physical famous criminals shall in a way cover the picture. So we think they are the prisoners. It’s even competition between pictures now.” (Nils Christie, 2006)

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