Prison makes us and them: the views of prison officers in Singapore working with young offenders

Barlas, Joanna, and Menon, Sara (2017) Prison makes us and them: the views of prison officers in Singapore working with young offenders. In: [Presented at the Qualitative Methods in Psychology Biennial Conference 2017]. From: Qualitative Methods in Psychology Biennial Conference 2017, 5-7 July 2017, Aberystwyth, UK.

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Abstract

Purpose: The aim of this paper was explore the nature of the prison officer – youth offender relationship in Singapore

Background: Given the evolution of theory and practice surrounding offender rehabilitation, external responsivity factors in the Risk, Need and Responsivity model of offender rehabilitation remain arguably less understood than offender risk and need. Youth offenders are viewed as a population requiring formal treatment provision, and the relationship between prison officer and youth offender has been viewed as one that can be harnessed for positive change. It is therefore important to understand how attitudes inform relational frameworks for prison officers working with youth offenders.

Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 13 prison officers and interview data were transcribed and analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings & Conclusions: Analysis revealed two superordinate themes; Youth is a Shared Human Experience and Prison Makes Us and Them; and seven subthemes; Officers were Young Once, Young Offender is Human, Hope for the Young, Inmates are Inmates, A Relationship built on (Mis)trust, Para-families, and Officers Change too. Relationships were likened to that of a big brother and the themes described the paradox of forming supportive and empathic relationships with young offenders within the context of institutional roles and expectations of discipline and control.

Findings have implications for a more targeted approach to the selection and training of officers who work with this unique offender group to maximise the responsiveness of young offenders to rehabilitation approaches in prison settings.

Item ID: 49623
Item Type: Conference Item (Poster)
Keywords: youth offending; prison officers; qualitative; therapeutic relationship
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Date Deposited: 02 Aug 2017 03:28
FoR Codes: 17 PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES > 1701 Psychology > 170104 Forensic Psychology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940408 Rehabilitation and Correctional Services @ 100%
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