Age, Imprisonment and Social Re-Entry: Exploring the Needs and Experiences of Older Offenders Following Release and Resettlement from Prison
|Institution:||University of Huddersfield|
|Keywords:||H Social Sciences (General)|
|Full text PDF:||http://eprints.hud.ac.uk/id/eprint/34149/|
This thesis is an exploratory study into the experiences of older ex-prisoners pre- and post-release from prison. Its theoretical framework draws upon convict criminology and intersectionality. Growing number of offenders aged over 50 pose unique challenges for the prison estate and for those involved in ex prisoner resettlement. There are concerns that the criminal justice system is ill-prepared to meet these challenges. There is little research so far exploring the experiences of older ex prisoners. This thesis contributes to this knowledge gap. The literature review identifies that there are concerns about the inadequacies of resettlement information, planning and support, which may involve breaches of human rights and equality legislation. An overarching concern is the implications of the absence of a national strategy for the lack of consistent and adequate provision for older prisoners and ex-prisoners. A small-scale qualitative research project was conducted involving thematic analysis of eight semi-structured interviews, two with older ex-offenders and six with professionals working with/in relation to older offenders. The researcher identified several problems recruiting older ex-offender participants, and ways in which these might be resolved in a larger scale project. The findings highlight many concerns regarding provision within the prison estate and community services, which included a lack of training, information sharing, and awareness among staff, combined with poor planning and resources. There is an urgent need for further research which identifies both the barriers and facilitators to resettlement among older ex prisoners. There is a particular need to understand how older (higher risk) ex-prisoners are being dealt with by the Probation Service in comparison to those older (lower risk) ex prisoners on CRC caseloads. The thesis makes the following recommendations: the production of a national strategy; the wholesale delivery of pre-existing toolkits on working with older offenders; the delivery of older age-specific training for CRC case managers.