‘It Doesn’t Matter What You’ve Done You’re Accepted Here’: A Multi-Site Qualitative Exploration of the Experiences of Being Incarcerated in Prisons for Individuals with Sexual Convictions

  • Nicholas BlagdenEmail author
  • Jake Jones
  • Kirsten Wilson
Part of the Sexual Crime book series (SEXCR)


There has been a great deal of research that has focused on the treatment of individuals with sexual convictions and, while contested, there is an evidence case for intervention with such groups. However, there has been much less empirical research exploring the experiences and perspectives of the prison environment within which treatment takes place. This is important, particularly, for this client group, as they often face multiple stigmas in prison. It has also been argued that the context of treatment is important for outcome. This chapter details a qualitative analysis of 48 interviews with individuals with sexual convictions across three different prison sites. The purpose of this investigation was to explore the perspectives of individuals with sexual convictions across three prison sites, each only housing such populations, that is, adult males convicted of sexual offences. The research found the importance of ‘experienced safety’ in allowing individuals to contemplate change. The research also revealed how participants were making meaning and achieving purpose within the prison. This is important, as research has found that finding meaning within prison and accepting positive experiences can help erode some of the negative life experiences offenders may have been through. Importantly, the results of this study serve as a reminder that cultivating meaningful relationships with individuals requires carefully balancing of a number of roles.


Experience of imprisonment Rehabilitative climate Meaning in prison Rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Nottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation ServiceLondonUK

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