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October 2021

Surviving in the Time Machine - Suicidal prisoners and the pains of prison time

Journal/Book: Time Soc. 1999; 8: 6 Bonhill Street, London EC2a 4Pu, England. Sage Publications Ltd. 211-230.

Abstract: Because of the nature of prison, with its forcible suspension of everyday life and its emphasis on time-discipline, prisoners are forced to confront the issue of passing time and personal identity. Suicidal prisoners experience time as an acute source of suffering and connected to the deterioration of their sense of self, The nature of their relationship with time can be profitably explored by qualitative research which focuses on prisoner accounts, since prisoners themselves are valuable sources of knowledge about the prison experience in general and suicide in prison in particular. The accounts of prisoners demonstrate patterned differences between suicidal and coping prisoners in their relationship with prison time. Suicide awareness and prevention policies will be enriched if they acknowledge the special pains of prison time and their connection with personal identity, and aim at addressing these in regimes and care.

Note: Article Medlicott D, Buckinghamshire Chilterns Univ, Queen Alexandra Rd, High Wycombe HP11 2JZ, Bucks, ENGLAND

Keyword(s): identity; prisoners; suffering; suicide; time


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