A catalogue of losses: implications for the care and reintegration of young men in custody

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    Although loss and grief are universal human experiences, vulnerable young people, such as those involved in offending or those who have been in care, are more likely to have experienced higher rates of loss than the general population, and to have suffered especially traumatic losses. This paper summarises the research literature in relation to loss among vulnerable young people in prison and draws on the narratives of 23 young men in a Young Offenders Institution about their experiences. Loss was identified as a significant theme across these narratives. Applying the learning gained from these stories to the literature, the paper organises these losses into an overarching typology, incorporating: loss of future (due to lost opportunities or the barriers posed by criminal convictions); loss of relationships (including the pain caused by separation); loss of status (in particular the loss of power and agency that can arise from the need to assimilate in to prison culture) and loss of stability (often due to a disrupted and troubled childhood).
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)26-35
    Number of pages10
    JournalPrison Service Journal
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015


    • custodial sentence
    • men in custody
    • young offenders

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