The Older Prisoner

Research output: Book/ReportBook

1 Citation (Scopus)


There is growing interest in ageing offenders and their lives in prison. However, this subject is often studied from a deprivation perspective, focusing on issues such as lack of medical care and proper environmental conditions. This article highlights experiences of wellbeing while ageing in confinement, using the conceptual framework of successful ageing. An interpretive phenomenological analysis perspective was used to analyse the narratives of 18 older prisoners. The narratives revealed four themes: ‘Like all other older men’: comparing ageing in prison with ageing within the community; ‘Better than what I have outside’: prison as an escape from a life of loneliness, poverty and delinquency; ‘Here I get some respect’: the older prisoner as a mentor; and ‘I feel accomplished’: experiences of growth and self-discovery as a means for successful ageing in prison. The findings suggest that ageing in prison may not be perceived as a single, unified process, but as a personal and individual phenomenon, and that old age may facilitate positive changes in the lives of ageing offenders in prison.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages290
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-60120-1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan


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