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White collar criminals’ experience of imprisonment in England and Wales: revisiting the ‘special sensitivity’ debate

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This article explores white collar criminals’ experience of imprisonment in England and Wales. Based upon interviews with 13 convicted offenders after they had completed their imprisonment, it is the first study to date of this kind in England and Wales (all others have been based in prison). It offers a unique impartial insight of prisoners’ experience, beyond the influence of the prison walls. The paper explores the experience around the largely American ‘special sensitivity’ debate, over whether such offenders are more sensitive to prison. The research uncovers both positive experiences, labelled ‘good’, but also negative, labelled ‘bad’ (non-violent experiences) and ‘ugly’ (violent experiences). Overall the findings reveal it is difficult to apply the special sensitivity hypothesis universally to this group of offenders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1585-1600
JournalDeviant Behaviour
Issue number12
Early online date26 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2020


  • White collar criminals’ experience

    Rights statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Deviant Behavior on 26/06/2019, available online:

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 720 KB, PDF document

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