Publication Date

5-1-2008

Advisor(s)

Kurtz, Matthew M.

Major

Psychology

Language

English

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gather subjective accounts of the experience of aging while incarcerated. All subjects were male inmates over the age of 60 who had been incarcerated for a minimum of 15 years. A total of 9 subjects were interviewed from 2 different prisons. Older inmates at one of the institutions were segregated from the general population, while inmates of all ages were integrated at the other. Unstructured, qualitative interviews were conducted and analyzed for common themes. Findings revealed that all inmates spoke of persistent hope, regret and loss, and distinct transformations in self. Older inmates from the integrated institution reported high levels of fear and victimization, whereas the segregated inmates did not. Overall, this study revealed that further research is needed to understand the various psychological implications of growing old in prison.

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