Disconnected: exploring provisions for mother–child telephone contact in female prisons serving England and Wales

Booth, N (2020) 'Disconnected: exploring provisions for mother–child telephone contact in female prisons serving England and Wales.' Criminology & Criminal Justice, 20 (2). pp. 150-168. ISSN 1748-8958

Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818801806

Abstract

Despite a growing body of international work describing the negative consequences of imprisonment for children and families, few studies have explored the accessibility and functionality of prison telephones. Mother–child contact has recurrently been identified as an important mechanism to alleviate and manage some of the emotional and practical adversities which accompany maternal imprisonment, and telephone contact has the potential to provide regular, perhaps even daily, contact for these separated family members. Responding to the knowledge gap, this article qualitatively explores the narratives of 15 mothers in prison with first-hand experience of using prison telephones to communicate with their children. Thematic data analysis revealed four critical obstacles and challenges with prison telephone facilities for 'Reconnecting in the first weeks', in the 'Cost of calling', in 'Telephoning privileges' and 'Inconsistencies across prisons'. Contrary to legal and policy guidelines, the findings illuminate how institutional barriers seriously affect mother–child communications, and recommendations are made.

Item Type: Article
Note:

This article was first published online by the journal in September 2018 before being included in an issue in April 2020.

Keywords: children of prisoners, prisoners’ families, mothers in prison, penal policy, qualitative prison research, prison telephone contact
Divisions: School of Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/1748895818801806
Date Deposited: 18 Jun 2020 15:35
Last Modified: 18 Jun 2020 15:36
Request a change to this item or report an issue Request a change to this item or report an issue
Update item (repository staff only) Update item (repository staff only)