A Voice Within: An Autoethnographic Account of Moving from Closed to Open Prison Conditions by a Life‐Sentenced Prisoner

Micklethwaite, Daniel and Earle, Rod (2021). A Voice Within: An Autoethnographic Account of Moving from Closed to Open Prison Conditions by a Life‐Sentenced Prisoner. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice (Early Access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/hojo.12430

Abstract

This article explores the lived experience of transitioning from closed to open prison conditions by a mandatory life‐sentenced prisoner. Using autoethnographic methodology the lead author's experience of this significant life‐sentence event forms the basis of a wider discussion. Research around this process is lacking. This article examines the phenomena around prisoner identity, prison culture and prisoner adaptation; it explores what impact of years spent in the closed prison estate can have on how open prison conditions are experienced. The authors identify important social and ontological obstacles to successful transition to open conditions and reflect on how it exposes the enduring harms resultant from serving a life sentence.

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