chapter  6
11 Pages

Black men, therapeutic interventions, and desistance

This chapter focuses on black men in a prison-based Therapeutic Community (TC). The aim is to look at the role of therapeutic interventions and to assess its impact in relation to the trajectory towards desistance. HMP Grendon was chosen as the site for this particular strand of the research inquiry to investigate what role a therapeutic community in prison plays in relation to the understanding of desistance, and to compare how the experience of being TC in relation to the desistance trajectory differed from that of the community. The study involved 10 prisoners, who reflected a diverse range of offending behaviours, as well as representing several geographical locations in the UK, Africa and the Caribbean. The results in this research have been triangulatedwith two significant studies dealing with the experiences of incarcerated black men. Wilkinson and Davidson’s study (Wilkinson, 2009) centres on a Black

and Minority Ethnic (BME) prisoner in-reach project based at HMP/YOI Doncaster, while Franklin and Franklin (2000) have developed a clinical model of the effects of racism on African-American males. As stated previously, this strand of the study involved 10 black men in HM Grendon. Although the participants in this section of the thesis would not be defined as desisters on account of being incarcerated they have an important contribution to make regarding how prisons become a space that can operationalise their desistance goals and aspirations.