Invisible men: Short prison sentences and the pains of invisibility and insignificance

Article


Cracknell, M. 2023. Invisible men: Short prison sentences and the pains of invisibility and insignificance. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice. 62 (3), pp. 341-356. https://doi.org/10.1111/hojo.12517
TypeArticle
TitleInvisible men: Short prison sentences and the pains of invisibility and insignificance
AuthorsCracknell, M.
Abstract

Introduced as part of the Transforming Rehabilitation reforms, the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 promised to offer resettlement support to individuals serving short sentences - a cohort who have long been neglected in penal policy and research discourse. Featuring the perspectives of 16 men serving a short sentence in England, this empirical work argues that there is a dissonance between the rhetoric of the additional support promised and the reality these individuals experienced. The pains literature is used to demonstrate how a perceived lack of institutional care and attention led respondents to feel invisible and insignificant. This caused service users to internalise a sense of reliance for their own resettlement. However, the ability to achieve this is predicated on possessing the necessary capital. Paradoxically the more an individual cycles around the revolving door of repeat short prison sentences, the more this capital becomes eroded, leading to the particular pain of burnout. The article concludes by advocating for a presumption against the use of short sentences in England and Wales.

Keywordsburnout; invisible; pains; resettlement; short sentence; Transforming Rehabilitation (TR)
Sustainable Development Goals16 Peace, justice and strong institutions
Middlesex University ThemeSustainability
LanguageEnglish
PublisherWiley
JournalThe Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
ISSN2059-1098
Electronic2059-1101
Publication dates
Online21 Feb 2023
Print11 Sep 2023
Publication process dates
Submitted10 Mar 2022
Accepted18 Sep 2022
Deposited06 Dec 2022
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
Copyright Statement

© 2023 The Authors. The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice published by Howard League and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/hojo.12517
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