Experiences of leaving prison for people with intellectual disability

Ellem, Kathy (2012) Experiences of leaving prison for people with intellectual disability. Journal of Learning Disabilities and Offending Behaviour, 3(3), pp. 127-138.

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Purpose – The support given to prisoners when they leave prison has a bearing on their success in starting a new life and on community safety. This paper aims to examine the community re-entry experiences of ten people with an intellectual disability in Queensland, Australia.

Design/methodology/approach – The findings in this paper are part of a wider study on the life stories of ex-prisoners with an intellectual disability. Seven male and three female participants with intellectual disability were interviewed using a semi-structured life story method. Interviews were respectful of the communication styles of participants and involved multiple interview sessions, ranging from two to nine interviews per person. Data were analysed using narrative and thematic analysis with the assistance of NVivo 8 software.

Findings – Participants found the process of leaving prison an emotional event, often clouded with both confusion about when release was to occur, and uncertainly as to what they could expect on the outside. The need for concrete information and coordinated hands-on assistance in negotiating supports in the community have significant implications for correctional and community services.

Originality/value – This study captures the perspectives of people with intellectual disability on community re-entry. These perspectives are often overlooked in policy and practice developments in the field of corrections. Yet without understanding this group, the field is unable to address their particular needs.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 74869
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: prison, intellectual disability, community re-entry, throughcare, post release, life stories
DOI: 10.1108/20420921211305873
ISSN: 2050-8824
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIAL WORK (160700)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Schools > School of Public Health & Social Work
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright Statement: This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here (http://eprints.qut.edu.au/74869/). Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Deposited On: 10 Aug 2014 23:20
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2014 02:28

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