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Palgrave Macmillan

Violence in Pursuit of Health

Living with HIV in the American Prison System

  • Book
  • © 2021


  • Draws on a rich, ethnographic study with powerful narratives
  • Examines the social structure in prison including the 'prison game' power struggle between inmates and staff for access to resources
  • Draws on interviews with male and female inmates, in a range of levels of security, as well as prison officers, prison administrators, health care providers and community workers

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology (PSIPP)

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Table of contents (6 chapters)


About this book

This book offers a unique examination of how violence is situationally induced and reproduced for those inmates living with HIV in a US State prison system. Imprisonment is the only space where Americans have a constitutional right to healthcare but findings from this research suggest that accessing this care and associated welfare benefits requires some degree of violence. This book documents how HIV-positive inmates went about achieving agency through harm to their bodies and social standing to improve their health and wellbeing, in prison and upon re-entry to the community. It focusses on ethnographic research which was carried out in seven penal facilities in New England and comprises of accounts from inmates, prison staff, healthcare providers, ex-offenders, and community social workers. This book speaks to academics interested in prisons, violence, health, and ethnographic research, and to policy makers.

Authors and Affiliations

  • King’s College London, London, UK

    Landon Kuester

About the author

Landon Kuester is Research Associate at the National Addiction Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, at King’s College London, UK.

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