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    The needs and experiences of young fathers in prison

    Blackwell, Joanna Louise Knudson (2022) The needs and experiences of young fathers in prison. PhD thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.

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    Since fathers were problematised socially, culturally, politically, and economically in the 1980s and 1990s there has been a surge of research into fathering and fatherhood. However, much of this research has been based around two dominant constructs of fathers: the traditional breadwinner and the new nurturing father. The research narratives have focused on how fathers should not only provide financially for their children, but also how they should be more nurturing and avoid being a so-called ‘deadbeat dad’. As part of this father research there has been some interest in fathers in prison, and some interest in teen or young fathers. However, there has been little research into the experiences of teen/young fathers in prison, and their perceptions of fatherhood. When fathers have been examined from every angle, the silence around these men is resounding. Estimates suggest a quarter of young males in prison are fathers, or fathers to be, yet what happens when young fathers are imprisoned has been largely neglected. This is a forgotten cohort. To increase understanding of the needs and experiences of these men, I undertook a qualitative study using semi-structured narrative interviews with young men in prison who were fathers, or fathers to be. Overall, they were happy and proud about being fathers and had their own ideas about what being a good dad was. They all expressed a desire to be seen as a ‘good dad’. However, in addition to their imprisonment they faced a variety of obstacles to achieving this desire, from poor relationships to a lack of legal knowledge to a self-imposed stasis on their fatherhood while in prison. This thesis discusses the needs and experiences of these young men, whether current policy meets those needs and experiences, and makes recommendations for improvements.


    Item Type: Thesis
    Copyright Holders: The copyright of this thesis rests with the author, who asserts his/her right to be known as such according to the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988. No dealing with the thesis contrary to the copyright or moral rights of the author is permitted.
    Depositing User: Acquisitions And Metadata
    Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2022 16:43
    Last Modified: 01 Nov 2023 15:19


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