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Conclusion

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

Abstract

This chapter summarises the key conceptual findings of the study and discusses its wider implications, particularly in relation to the overall impact on prisoners of long-term confinement.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Considerable evidence now suggests that longer sentences produce little ‘marginal benefit’, in terms of future offending, and, if anything, might lead to increased recidivism (e.g. Loughran et al. 2009; Gendreau et al. 1999, 2000; Baay et al. 2012).

  2. 2.

    To repeat a point made in Chapter 3, our analysis is organised around a set of common, but not universal, adaptive patterns. While this results in some shearing away of variance, it is worth noting the similarities in findings between studies of long-term imprisonment conducted in different countries, over a very long time period (Richards 1978; Flanagan 1980; Leigey and Ryder 2015; and see Hulley et al. 2016). The implication is that, almost regardless of time, place and policy context, the deprivation of liberty over a sustained period of time creates a consistent set of pains and adaptive responses. As we have stated elsewhere (Hulley et al. 2016), we do not believe that the nature and intensity of these problems would be invariant regardless of context. Nor, therefore, do we think that these problems are entirely intractable, even if the implication is that they are almost inherent to extreme confinement.

  3. 3.

    With thanks to Anna Kotova for this analogy.

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Crewe, B., Hulley, S., Wright, S. (2020). Conclusion. In: Life Imprisonment from Young Adulthood. Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-56601-0_9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/978-1-137-56601-0_9

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