Women, self-harm, and the moral code of the prison

Cresswell, M, Karimova, Z and Ward, J (2018) 'Women, self-harm, and the moral code of the prison.' Ethical Human Psychology & Psychiatry, 20 (1). pp. 27-42. ISSN 1559-4343

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1891/1559-4343.20.1.27


Discriminatory attitudes directed at women who nonfatally self-harm have been documented in psychiatric wards and medical settings, especially in Accident and Emergency departments. Such attitudes constitute a “moral code,” which surrounds the act of self-harm and subjects it to negative comparison to accidents, physical illness, and completed suicide. What is less clear, however, are the characteristics of that moral code which governs self-harm in prisons, despite the fact that high rates of self-harm in women’s prisons are well known. Reporting the findings of a research project in one English prison, this article identifies the characteristics of that “moral code” and the way it affects the experiences of women in prison.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: women; self-harm; prison; moral code; total institution
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: School of Sciences
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1891/1559-4343.20.1.27
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2018 15:54
Last Modified: 15 Aug 2021 09:51
URI / Page ID: https://researchspace.bathspa.ac.uk/id/eprint/11755
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