Movements Towards Desistance via Peer-Support Roles in Prison

  • Christian Perrin
  • Nicholas Blagden
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)


Several peer-support programmes (schemes) are currently operating in UK prisons. Via these schemes, prisoners are able to access support for issues ranging from emotional distress and addiction problems to practical and educational needs. Although these schemes have existed in prisons for decades, research focussing on those who uphold peer-support roles is scarce. This chapter aims to generate a deeper understanding of how adopting a peer-support role in prison can impact offenders’ experiences of imprisonment. Using qualitative interview with 17 volunteers from various programmes: prison “Listeners” (N = 6), “Insiders” (N = 5), “Toe-by-toe mentors” (N = 3), and “RAPt Mentors” (N = 3), the authors illustrate how occupying these roles contributes to meaning making and the overall process of criminal desistance.


Alcoholic Anonymous Prison Staff Superordinate Theme Prison Life Volunteer Role 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christian Perrin
    • 1
  • Nicholas Blagden
    • 1
  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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