Persistent punishment: users views of short prison sentences

Sarah Armstrong, Beth Weaver

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    14 Citations (Scopus)
    532 Downloads (Pure)


    Semi-structured interviews were conducted of 22 prisoners to gather information about the characteristic features of short prison sentences. Themes raised in comments included: the frequency and quality of sentences, addiction, family, and penal legitimacy. Most of the participants had extensive experience of prison, and the effects of this played out across sentences and years, accumulating and amplifying impacts. And, despite expressions of guilt and remorse, most participants saw their sentence as unjust, and mainly a reaction to offending history. We conclude by suggesting the need for research to shift focus from evaluating individual penal interventions towards more holistic and narrative accounts that cut across sentences.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages23
    JournalThe Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
    Early online date10 May 2013
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • penal legitimacy
    • short-term imprisonment
    • user voice
    • qualitative methods
    • Scotland
    • prison

    Research Output

    • 14 Citations
    • 2 Other report


    • 2 Invited talk
    • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

    Experiences of Imprisonment

    Beth Weaver (Speaker)

    21 Nov 2011

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Users’ perspectives on punishment – Why listen?

    Beth Weaver (Keynote speaker)

    11 Oct 2011

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    BASW World Social Work Day

    Beth Weaver (Invited speaker)

    15 Mar 2011

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

    Cite this