Only One Way to Swim? The Offence and the Life Course in Accounts of Adaptation to Life Imprisonment

Jarman, Ben. 2020. ‘Only One Way to Swim? The Offence and the Life Course in Accounts of Adaptation to Life Imprisonment’. The British Journal of Criminology. DOI:10.1093/bjc/azaa036.

23 Pages Posted: 22 May 2020

See all articles by Ben Jarman

Ben Jarman

University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology

Date Written: August 12, 2019

Abstract

Recent studies of long-term imprisonment describe a largely invariant pattern of prisoner adaptation. This article, based on a qualitative study of men serving life sentences in England, argues that adaptation may in fact vary more than these studies imply, both because of the prisoner’s age when sentenced, and because of the circumstances of particular offences. Participants engaged differently with the prison’s rehabilitative ‘offer’, depending on how the sentence affected the life course, and what they understood to be the moral ramifications of the offence. These findings refine our understanding of adaptation, and suggest that a renewed focus on prisoners’ moral reflexivity may bear fruit in future research.

Keywords: long-term imprisonment, indefinite imprisonment, life imprisonment, rehabilitation, moral reflection, murder

Suggested Citation

Jarman, Benjamin, Only One Way to Swim? The Offence and the Life Course in Accounts of Adaptation to Life Imprisonment (August 12, 2019). Jarman, Ben. 2020. ‘Only One Way to Swim? The Offence and the Life Course in Accounts of Adaptation to Life Imprisonment’. The British Journal of Criminology. DOI:10.1093/bjc/azaa036. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3585421 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3585421

Benjamin Jarman (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge Institute of Criminology ( email )

Cambridge
United Kingdom

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