Understanding the lived experience of older men in prison

Hutton, Rose (2022) Understanding the lived experience of older men in prison. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

[thumbnail of RHutton_thesis_finalversion.pdf]
Download (2MB) | Preview


Older prisoners are the fastest growing prison population with the number of older offenders rapidly increasing in recent years. Whilst this trend can be seen across both male and female offenders, the overwhelming majority of older people in prison are men. Despite this, older men in prison have received limited attention within policy, practice, and academic research. Insight into how they make sense of their everyday realities in prison is particularly scant. This thesis presents a constructivist grounded theory study exploring the lived experiences of older men in prison. A total of 24 in-depth interviews were conducted with 17 older men who had experience of prison in later life, either in prison or recently released, and 7 prison officers. Central to the men’s experiences of prison were the nature of the environment, their relationships, and identities, and preparing for and managing release. An overarching theoretical account was constructed from analysis of the empirical data, with two concepts central to this: prison climate and capital. The older men described various factors that came together to shape the overall feel of the prison environment, or climate, and the extent to which this was suitable for their needs as older people. Whilst there was a sense of commonality in that the prison climate was perceived as challenging and hard to navigate, the way in which it was experienced was also shaped by the presence of various individual resources, or capital. Based on this, some were afforded more ways in which to negotiate the environment and make sense of their situation constructively. This study therefore contributes an original way of understanding the experiences of older men in prison. The implications of these findings are discussed in relation to both policy and practice. The importance of a unifying policy strategy for older offenders is particularly stressed.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Social Work
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2022 11:32
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2022 11:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/89960

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item