The "sub-culture" created through austere measures : Understanding the cycle to break it

Harrison, Sophie and Greasley, Pete and Hurst, Gemma (2020) The "sub-culture" created through austere measures : Understanding the cycle to break it. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Mental health (MH) difficulties are prevalent within the prison population, with literature highlighting the rates of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress symptoms, amongst other MH presentations, being higher than the general population. Furthermore, self-harming behaviours, suicidal ideation and dying by suicide are also more commonly reported within the prison population. As such, the importance of gaining a greater understanding of these MH needs is highlighted, informing interventions within prison environments, as well as exploring the wellbeing and MH of individuals leaving prison and reintegrating back into society. This these includes three sections: literature review, research paper and a critical appraisal. The literature review qualitatively reviews nine studies exploring MH interventions within prison environments and the experiences of those accessing hem. Through thematic analysis, the results identified five major themes: loneliness and the value of peer support; barriers to accessing such interventions; the benefits of a space to reflect and develop coping strategies; interventions offering hope and ‘normality’ for the future; and a shift in attitudes towards MH as a result of effective interventions. The importance of promoting empowerment and feelings of value was evident. Limitations are highlighted around resources, capacity and staff wellbeing. Recommendations for clinical practice and ongoing research are made. The research paper explores the experiences of eight prison leavers accessing the benefits system, gaining an understanding of the impact upon their MH. Through phenomenologically-informed thematic analysis, three major themes were identified: outsiders; systemic barriers; support to cope. The importance of these findings and the role of clinical psychologists within this field is highlighted. The critical appraisal presents the overall findings of the thesis, with the rationale and motivations for the research. Areas of reflection made throughout the process are presented, detailing the issues that arose and how any difficulties were considered and overcome.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
?? mental healthprisonprison leaverswelfare benefitssocial inequalityausterityausterity measuresinterventionsstaff burnoutcustody ??
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22 Sep 2020 15:50
Last Modified:
15 Jun 2024 23:38