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When the Innocent are Punished

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

Abstract

When a person commits a crime and is punished with imprisonment, it can be a very tough ordeal for the relatives. This is certainly the case when parents are imprisoned and one or more children are left behind. In a sense, the short glimpses of the various “family scenes” in the previous chapter and the children’s own stories and emotional reactions tell us almost everything. The naked, straightforward and almost archetypical accounts of loss, fear and anxiety clearly illustrate how imprisonment can affect some prisoners’ children particularly hard and have extensive negative repercussions on their daily life, well-being and future.

Keywords

Police Officer Prison Population Parental Imprisonment Prison Officer Prison Staff 
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.
    Joseph Murray and David P. Farrington, “Parental Imprisonment: Long-lasting Effects on Boys Internalizing Problems through the Life Course”, Development and Psychopathology 20, no. 1 (2008), 133.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. See also Joseph Murray, David P. Farrington et al., Effects of Imprisonment on Child Antisocial Behaviour and Mental Health: A Systematic Review (Oslo: Campbel Collaboration, 2009);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Christopher Wildeman and Bruce Western, “Incarceration in Fragile Families”, The Future of Children 20, no. 2 (2010), 157–177; Joseph Murray, David P. Farrington and Ivana Sekol, “Children’s Antisocial Behavior, Mental Health, Drug Use, and Educational Performance After Parental Incarceration: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis”, Psychological Bulletin 138, no. 2 (2012);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Adele D. Jones and Agnieszka E. Wainaina-Woźna (eds), Children of Prisoners. Interventions and Mitigations (Huddersfield, UK: University of Huddersfield, 2013).Google Scholar
  5. 2.
    See, for example, Murray and Farrington et al., 2009; Wildeman and Western, 2010; Sara Wakefield and Christopher Wildeman, “Mass Imprisonment and Racial Disparities in Childhood Behavioral Problems”, Criminology and Public Policy 10, no. 3 (2011), 791–817;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Peter Scharff Smith and Janne Jakobsen, Når straffen rammer uskyldige. Børn af fængslede i Danmark (Copenhagen: Gyldendal, 2010);Google Scholar
  7. Peter Scharff Smith and Lucy Gampell (eds), Children of Imprisoned Parents (Copenhagen: The Danish Institute for Human Rights, Eurochips and University of Ulster, 2011); Jones and Wainaina-Woźna, 2013.Google Scholar
  8. 3.
    H. C. Hoffmann, A. L. Byrd and A. M. Kightlinger, “Prison Programs and Services for Incarcerated Parents and Their Underage Children: Results from a National Survey of Correctional Facilities”, The Prison Journal 90, no. 4 (2010), 397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 7.
    See L. Ayre, K. Philbrick and M. Reiss, Children of Imprisoned Parents: European Perspectives on Good Practice (Montrouge: Eurochips, 2006), 7.Google Scholar
  10. 8.
    Peter Scharff Smith, Moralske hospitaler. Det moderne fængselsvæsens gennembrud 1770–1870 (Copenhagen: Forum, 2003), 25.Google Scholar
  11. See also, Peter Scharff Smith, “A Religious Technology of the Self — Rationality and Religion in the Rise of the Modern Penitentiary”, Punishment and Society 6, no. 2 (2004), 195–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 9.
    Robert J. Sampson makes a similar point in “The Incarceration Ledger. Toward a New Era in Assessing Societal Consequences”, Criminology & Public Policy 10, no. 3 (2011), 819.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 10.
    Like many others, I have previously been inspired by Foucault and have written about prisons and technologies of power. See, for example, Peter Scharff Smith, “A Religious Technology of the Self — Rationality and Religion in the Rise of the Modern Penitentiary”, Punishment and Society 6, no. 2 (2004a), 195–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 11.
    Alison Liebling and Shadd Maruna, “Introduction: The Effects of Imprisonment Revisited”, in The Effects of Imprisonment , ed. A. Liebling and S. Maruna (Cullompton, UK: Willan Publishing, 2005), 16.Google Scholar
  15. 12.
    Using the term collateral damage in this context is inspired by Oliver Robertson, Collateral Convicts: Children of Incarcerated Parents. Recommendations and Good Practice from the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, Day of General Discussion 2011 (Geneva: United Nations, March 2012).Google Scholar
  16. 13.
    Michel Foucualt, Madness and Civilization. A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (New York: Vintage Books, 1988), 38 ff.Google Scholar
  17. 14.
    On penal populism and tough-on-crime policies, see John Pratt, Penal Populism (London: Routledge, 2007);Google Scholar
  18. David Garland, The Culture of Control. Crime and Social Order in Contemporary Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001);Google Scholar
  19. Michael Tonry, Thinking About Crime: Sense and Sensibility in American Penal Culture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004).Google Scholar
  20. 15.
    See Chapter 16. See also Peter Scharff Smith, “A Critical look at Scandinavian Exceptionalism. Welfare State Theories, Penal Populism, and Prison Conditions in Denmark and Scandinavia”, in Nordic Prison Practice and Policy — Exceptional or Not?: Exploring Penal Exceptionalism in the Nordic Context , ed. Thomas Ugelvik and Jane Dullem (London/New York: Routledge, 2011), 43 ff.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    See the final report from the project: Lise Garkier Hendriksen, Janne Jakobsen and Peter Scharff Smith, Børneansvarlige I Kriminalforsorgen — Fokus på de indsattes børn (Copenhagen: The Danish Institute for Human Rights, 2012).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Peter Scharff Smith 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Scharff Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.Danish Institute for Human RightsDenmark

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