In September 2022, a mock detention was organized in the then soon to be opened prison in Haren to test the operation of the prison and to offer the opportunity to external persons to have a detention experience. About 50 participants, mostly judicial actors, took part in this so-called immersion. While existing scholarship focuses on the experiences during short term prison visits, research on participants’ experiences of mock detentions is non-existent. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap by researching the participants’ views on detention, their detention experiences and the impact of the detention on their psychological and physical well-being. The results show that the participants seem to realize that a mock incarceration is different from a real detention experience. However, several of their experiences are similar to prison experiences that are reported by real prisoners in prison research. Our findings illustrate i.a. the importance of the treatment and communication by staff as well as of the material detention circumstances on detention experiences. We conclude with some reflections on the usefulness of mock detentions to increase our knowledge of the challenges of prison life.
|Nummer van het tijdschrift
|Published - sep 2023