chapter  17
11 Pages

Beyond loss of liberty

How loss, bereavement and grief can affect young men’s prison journeys
WithNina Vaswani

This chapter focuses on the research literature to highlight the role that loss, bereavement and grief can play in shaping young men's journeys to prison, through prison and onwards into their reintegration back in to society. It outlines how the use of custody can result in the loss of status, most notably loss of power and autonomy to make even everyday decisions. This loss of autonomy can reduce individuals to a state of 'childlike helplessness' that has a negative impact on functioning upon release and interferes with the process of maturation. The institutional context also needs to be considered in order to develop a comprehensive understanding of how young people in custody are affected by loss and grief. Another significant loss that can be linked directly to the prison environment is that of loss of 'status', in this context referring to the loss of position, power or respect in the social environment.