Trauma of the “Quasi-Prisoner” - the voice of visitors denied access at the prison gates.
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
This thesis examines a previously ignored, highly sensitive and important area of Criminology as it addresses the unique question about how and why visitors to prison are denied entry to visit their incarcerated relatives. It examines how various Technologies of Exclusion (TE) are used in this visit denial process to create the Visitor Victim (V2) and Trauma of the "Quasi-Prisoner". The significant tension created between family visitation and security issues is explored. The impact of privacy laws upon the process of finding participants for this sensitive research is explained, acknowledging that most people prefer not to discuss incarcerated relatives. Third party non- governmental agencies, working with individuals who have ‘run up against’ the penal system, assisted in this search. Visitors' issues and attitudes towards prison staff and emerging visit issues are examined, with the impact of visit refusal as a main focus of this research. Safeguarding facilities, at the expense of family relationships, is a constant theme of concern. Better prospects for the reintegration of offenders and the retention of important family relationships can be brought about through the modification of prison regulations. Removal of some of the Technologies of Exclusion would allow prison visits to become less traumatic and a more comfortable experience for offenders, prison staff and visitors.
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