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Title: Prison, power, and people with learning disabilities : the complexities of curtailed lives
Author: Gormley, Jenette Caitlin
ISNI:       0000 0004 6422 8477
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2017
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Very little is known about how people with learning disabilities symbolically engage with imprisonment and discursively account for it within their wider self-narratives. Although there are no cohesive incarceration figures for people with a learning disability, prevalence studies suggest that they are over-represented among prison populations worldwide. This research addresses a major gap in literature as people with learning disabilities’ accounts are largely absent from prison sociologies, and offending and imprisonment experiences are missing from learning disability studies literature. By bringing together empirical, theoretical, and methodological knowledge from criminology and disability studies, the research fills this void and heralds the value of drawing on two distinct fields of study. This thesis provides a platform for the experiences of 25 men and women with learning disabilities who were serving a custodial sentence or who had been recently liberated from custody at the time of research. Through a critical realist lens, the study used innovative qualitative research methods - multiple and semi-structured interviews - in order to preserve the ethical and moral integrity of researching inclusively with people with learning disabilities while being sensitive to the challenges of researching within prison. The research found that people with learning disabilities are disadvantaged and marginalised in unique ways as a result of the increasing psychological demands associated with late modern imprisonment. In prison, they negotiate distinct barriers to their full social participation with and through their punishment, sentence, and the demands of daily prison life. As a result, they face intersectional forms of oppression and are further socially disenfranchised through institutional process which render them vulnerable and dependent on the structures, supports, and regime of prison which are often absent from their lives in the community. Participants internalised their exclusion, and characterised their lives through experiences of labelling, governance, and curtailment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available