Ageing in prison
Over the last 20 years many countries have experienced rising numbers of older prisoners, including older women. This has prompted a rapid expansion in research from a range of disciplines, including psychology, social work and medicine. Much of this published research has, however, focused on documenting and exploring the needs and experiences of people ageing in prison, and on developing and implementing age-aware facilities and programmes. However, ageing in the prison setting poses challenges to broader theoretical and jurisprudential concepts of justice and equality, as the nature of imprisonment itself limits elements of freedom of choice, activity, participation and engagement which form the foundations of key human and civil rights and, by extension, a socially just society. This chapter draws on Nancy Fraser’s concepts of representation, recognition and access to resources in order to develop an innovative and original analysis of the needs and experiences of older prisoners which goes beyond focusing on facilities, resources and programmes and which situates issues relating to ageing in prison not just within concepts of criminal justice, but as key aspects of social justice.