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Prisoners' experiences of drug treatment and punishment in four Nordic countries
University of Oslo, Norway .
Örebro University, School of Law, Psychology and Social Work. (SOVIL)
Aarhus University, Denmark .
Aarhus University, Denmark .
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2015 (English)In: Nordic Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, ISSN 1455-0725, Vol. 32, no 2, 145-164 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

AIMS: This article describes and analyses prisoners’ experiences of drug treatment in prison in four Nordic countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The article examines how prisoners experience drug treatment, control and sanctions as related to three main topics, namely motivation; the content of the measure and relations to staff; and control and sanctions.

METHODS & DATA: The article is based on data from twelve prisons, three in each of the four countries; 91 interviews with prisoners; and around six months of observation. The two main kinds of drug treatment measures are drug treatment units and day programmes.

RESULTS: Prisoners described several motives to participate in drug treatment measures: to leave drugs and crime; to renew relations with family and friends; to solve health problems; and to improve their prison conditions. Prisoners found that drug treatment measures offered possibilities to acquire new ways of being. Staff behaviour seemed to be more important to prisoners than the methods used, and some prisoners seemed more positive to staff involved with the drug treatment than to other staff. A surprising finding was the prisoners’ limited critique of controls and sanctions. We see this as embedded in the situation of being a prisoner, and also in relation to contexts outside prison.

CONCLUSION: In discussing their experiences in the treatment units, prisoners are not so concerned about the rehabilitative features or the controls and sanctions. They evaluate their present situation in light of a future, which is their real concern. This is in line with a main task for staff, which is to prepare prisoners for release. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
De Gruyter Open, 2015. Vol. 32, no 2, 145-164 p.
Keyword [en]
control; Denmark; drug treatment; Finland; illicit drugs; Norway; prison; prisoners' views; qualitative research; Sweden
National Category
Social Work
Research subject
Social Work
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-44490DOI: 10.1515/nsad-2015-0017ISI: 000353306800006Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84928684105OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-44490DiVA: diva2:808341
Note

Funding Agency:

Joint Committee for Nordic Research Councils for the Humanities and Social Sciences (NOS-HS) 210305

Available from: 2015-04-28 Created: 2015-04-28 Last updated: 2017-10-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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