The experience of fatherhood post-imprisonment

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Abstract

The unprecedented growth in the prison population in recent years has led to greater interest in the social cost of imprisonment. This study addresses the social cost of mass imprisonment on father – child relationships and the effect of imprisonment on fatherhood identity. Using qualitative, semi-structured interviews, the experiences of three fathers and their relationships with their children during and after imprisonment are explored. The literature highlights the many positive associations between father – child relationships during imprisonment and successful reintegration away from crime. The less visible impact of imprisonment is on the men’s identities as fathers and the frustration and strain that fathers go through when trying to successfully maintain a relationship with their child. This discussion draws the attention to many of the constraints, inherent to the prison context, which place limitations and barriers on the fathers’ ability to engage with and maintain a relationship with their children. Overall, the main discussion presented within this study focuses on the link between the challenges of imprisoned fatherhood and the impact this then has on men’s identities as fathers.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • fatherhood
  • imprisonment
  • parent-child relationship

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