|A number of democratic therapeutic communities now exist within the male
prison system. The community at Send is the first prison democratic therapeutic
community to be established for women. Given the different demographic profile
of the women’s prison population, their different criminogenic needs
and differences in the structure and culture of the women’s prison
system, it is likely that the culture of the community and the experience
of therapy at Send will differ from that of a male community.
The programme of research sets out to understand the social organisation
of the therapeutic community at HMP Send and how it functions. Comparisons
will be drawn with what is known about the social organisation and functioning
of the male therapeutic community at Grendon.
Specific areas of examination include:
- the structural context of the TC and its relationship with the host
- the therapeutic process and how it is experienced by women prisoners;
- the gendered nature of the women’s therapeutic needs and the
ways these are addressed by and shape therapeutic activities;
- the process of selection, exploring existing ideas about ‘suitable’
and ‘unsuitable’ candidates for entry to the therapeutic
- factors that exacerbate or mediate the process of attrition whereby
some women leave prematurely;.
- the concept of a therapeutic career for women in the therapeutic community
as well as how therapeutic achievements may vary for different groups
eg lifers, different ethnic groups, women with a history of self-harm
- the identification of criteria by which the therapeutic community
may be judged, including evaluation of post-transfer and post-release
These questions require a varied methodology, including record analysis,
semi-structured interviews, observational work and focus group discussion.
For queries or further information about the project please contact Elaine