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Visiting in Prisons: Staff, Children, Conditions and Practice

  • Peter Scharff Smith
  • Janne Jakobsen
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Abstract

Thousands of children visit prisons daily in order to see a parent. But even though the prison, as an institution, has several centuries under its belt, it has generally not tried to adapt to the needs of these children. Fortunately, this is currently changing at least in some prisons in some parts of the world, but it is still difficult to imagine an institution further removed from the idea of a child-friendly place. Under all circumstances, many children do visit their imprisoned parents. As this fact gains more attention, it seems increasingly difficult to argue against taking the perspective and needs of these children seriously.

Keywords

Police Officer State Prison Security Check Solitary Confinement Prison Officer 
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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Notes

  1. 1.
    J. Murray, “The Effects of Imprisonment on Families and Children of Prisoners”, in The Effects of Imprisonment, ed. A. Liebling and S. Maruna (Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing, 2005, 445.Google Scholar
  2. 10.
    See also B. Crewe and A. Liebling, “Are Liberal Humanitarian Penal Values and Practices Exceptional?”, in Penal Exceptionalism? Nordic Prison Policy and Practice, ed. T. Ugelvik and J. Dullum (London: Routledge, 2010).Google Scholar
  3. 13.
    M. D. Evans and R. Morgan, Preventing Torture: A Study for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman and Degrading Treatment (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998). The authors characterise pre-trial solitary confinement as a “peculiarly Scandinavian phenomenon”, p. 247. Iceland has also received the same criticism. See CPT, Visit Report, Iceland. Visit 1998, Section 15/49. See also report from the 1993 visit in Iceland.Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    Barnombudsmannen, Från Insidan. Barn och ungdomar om tillvaron I arrest och häkte (Stockholm: Barnombudsmannen, 2013).Google Scholar
  5. 67.
    Hans Jørgen Engbo, Straffuldbyrdelsesret (Copenhagen: Jurist-og Økonomforbundet, 2005), 44. See also the European Prison Rules, 24.4. Concerning progressive conditions in the open prison Møgelkjær, see Smith and Jakobsen (2010, 144 f.).Google Scholar
  6. 85.
    With reference to English prisons and through the use of two particular prisoner interviews, Ben Crewe highlights how it is still often a golden rule never to “grass” on other inmates and never to side with an officer above another prisoner. But he also quotes a prisoner saying that “it has become much more acceptable for prisoners to socialize in friendly ways with prison staff”. See Ben Crewe, “Prison Culture and the Prisoner Society”, in The Prisoner, ed. B. Crewe and J. Bennete (New York: Routledge, 2012), 34. Another important factor is local prison cultures, which can vary significantly. Regarding prison culture and “them” and “us” dynamics, see also Minke (2012, 142 ff.).Google Scholar
  7. 87.
    A. Liebling and H. Arnold, Prisons and Their Moral Performance: A Study of Values, Quality, and Prison Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 469.Google Scholar
  8. 104.
    Stine Lindberg, Helst skal man have en god barndom — 40 børns fortællinger om et liv med særlige vilkår (København: Børnerådet, 2000), 33. Maja is not the girl’s real name. The first lines of the quote are not included in the rapport from the National Council for Children but stated in the printing of the entire interview, which Stine Lindberg has allowed the Danish Institute for Human Rights to use (see Appendix).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Scharff Smith and Janne Jakobsen 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Scharff Smith
  • Janne Jakobsen

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