A “very decent nick”: ethical treatment in prison-based democratic therapeutic communities

Stevens, Alisa (2011) A “very decent nick”: ethical treatment in prison-based democratic therapeutic communities. [in special issue: Ethical Issues in Prisoner Treatment, Offender Therapy, and Community Reentry: International Perspectives and Policy Considerations] Journal of Forensic Psychology Practice, 11, (2-3), 124-150. (doi:10.1080/15228932.2011.537581).


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The penal system of England and Wales has been greatly influenced in the past two decades by the emergence of a moral framework or ‘decency agenda’. What decency means to prisoners and how decency can be embodied into daily prison life, however, remains underexplored. Drawing from her original research in prison-based democratic therapeutic communities (TCs), the author argues that decency is experienced in TCs through an ethic of care and an ethos of change. TC residents benefit from atypical institutional practices which encourage the formation of supportive relationships with prison staff and facilitate meaningful opportunities for personal change.

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1080/15228932.2011.537581
ISSNs: 1522-8932 (print)
1522-9092 (electronic)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
K Law > KD England and Wales
Divisions : Faculty of Social and Human Sciences
ePrint ID: 341211
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
23 March 2011Published
Date Deposited: 17 Jul 2012 15:25
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2016 15:26
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/341211

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