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Prison experiences of self forgiveness

Aug 30, 2012

from the paper presented by Fergus Hogan and Jonathan Culleton at Experiencing Prison:

Crime challenges communities; criminal activity is an assault on civic society – individuals who break the law are deemed to have stepped outside of society. Yet prison as a response to crime can also be read as an assault on community; often those imprisoned were never fully integrated into society. 

The experience of prison in Ireland has been one of building expansion at the cost of any real investment in rehabilitative or re-integrative measures.

A ‘typical’ prisoner in Ireland is broadly similar to those in the rest of the Western world; young, urban, undereducated males from the lower socio- economic classes - dependent on alcohol or opiate drugs, with psychiatric problems from disturbed family backgrounds. Imprisonment does little to re-integrate those who are already marginalised. 

This  paper reports on a two year ethnographic study that followed 200 Irish prisoners from two prisons as they engaged with a new mentoring programme that attempted to reintegrate them into community. A key finding is how acts of forgiveness (self forgiveness and forgiveness by the community) are core to building and bridging the reintegration of ex-prisoners. 

Prison Experiences of Self Forgiveness emerged through careful re-readings of the prisoner and ex prisoner stories. This paper suggests evidence that Forgiveness is a two way process which is deeply important to the experience of (ex)-prisoners’ narratives of redemption, and the associated rewards of self healing and communal forgiveness.

Read the whole article.

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Marianne Asher-Chapman
Marianne Asher-Chapman says:
Sep 01, 2012 03:34 AM

  I have been part of a victims panel for quite some time now in this program. I can't tell you how impressed I am with it! My daughter, Angie Yarnell, went missing 9 years ago. Five years later, her husband confessed to killing her. We have never found her remains. It has and is a very hard road for me. But a couple years ago I was invited to be a part of a victims panel. It is a good experience for me. I feel I help them and I know they help me. I think it is an excellent program. Marianne Asher-Chapman Co-founder of Missouri Missing

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