chapter  1
9 Pages

Death, social losses and the continuum of disenfranchised grief for prisoners

WithSue Read, Sotirios Santatzoglou

This chapter considers the experience of loss and bereavement within the community of prisoners, which is based on papers related to bereavement care in prison. P. B. Taylor's point illustrates well the multifaceted nature of death, which actually becomes particularly significant within the context of social losses. There are many different types of loss. Schultz, C. L. and Harris, D. L. describe these losses as either being common, uncommon or non-finite. The bereavement counsellors indicated the 'chaotic lives' of the bereaved prisoners, and agreed that their condition of being 'left abandoned when they're in prison', or simply 'being incarcerated', 'in essence, it sort of mirrors bereavement'. Disenfranchised grief is defined as a loss which 'may be not recognised or validated by others' and 'the grief subsequently experienced is disenfranchised: The loss cannot be openly acknowledged, socially validated, or publicly mourned'. The chapter recognises the importance of the continuum of losses.