Father and son: Two generations through prison

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    21 Citations (Scopus)


    In this article we draw on select data from the longitudinal study 'Generativity in young male (ex)prisoners: Caring for self, other and future within prison and beyond' in order to explore the dynamics of repeat incarceration and release of a small cohort of young men from the perspectives of their formerly incarcerated fathers. Focusing on nine key themes - generated from in-depth interviews - we describe how and under what conditions fathers assist their children to manage the physical and emotional challenges of the prison and/or post-release environments. Importantly, we draw out the ostensibly redemptive if challenging dimensions of such conduct and highlight the prison as a site of secondary trauma for ex-incarcerates attempting to connect with their young incarcerated sons. We suggest that the ex-prisoner-as-visitor-to-their-incarcerated-son equates, in the eyes of prison administrators, to a surrogate form of recidivism. Penal implications of such are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)338-367
    Number of pages30
    JournalPunishment and Society-International Journal of Penology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012


    • desistance
    • intergenerational incarceration
    • wounded healers


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