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The Meaning of Imprisonment in Later Life



Description: This research project scrutinised the meanings attached to imprisonment in later life through an ethnographic study of the integration and segregation of older prisoners in two Belgian prisons settings. The study examined, inter alia: what it means to be an ‘older prisoner’; what this means in terms of the criminal profile and different dimensions of age; and how this relates to a quantitative analysis of the entire older adult prisoner population (age 65+) in Belgium. The empirical study further disentangles the well-established, but inadequately substantiated notion of a heterogeneous older adult prisoner population whose experiences are based on different types of age, from their material and social world. Finally, the project considered older prisoners’ inner world and self-transcending context, which becomes translated into strategies of coping with imprisonment and meaning in life.

Outputs: Doctoral dissertation, scientific contributions, scientific activities, working papers, contribution to vulgarizing publications.

Relevant publications:

Humblet, D. (2017). Oudere gedetineerden. In K. Beyens, & S. Snacken (Eds.), Straffen. Een penologisch perspectief (pp. 475-483). Antwerpen: Maklu.

Humblet, D., & Snacken, S. (2016). Human Rights and Imprisonment of Older Adults. In L. Weber, E. Fishwick, & M. Marmo (Eds.), The Routledge International Handbook of Criminology and Human Rights (pp. 546-555). London: Routledge

Humblet, D. (2015). Older Prisoners. ECAN Bulletin, 27, 15-18.

Coordinator: Prof Sonja Snacken

ResearcherDiete Humblet

Funding: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek  (FWO)

Duration: 2013-2018