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Tuesday, December 3 • 3:30pm - 5:30pm
BREAKOUT SESSION ONE: Criminology

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Chair: Alice Mills

Tess Barlett: Constructions of the family for imprisoned primary carer fathers

This paper draws on an Australian Research Council funded study conducted in Victoria and New South Wales between 2011 and 2015 that examined care planning processes for children when their primary carer parent was arrested, sentenced, imprisoned, and released. In particular it examines data relating to 39 primary carer fathers incarcerated in prison in Victoria, Australia. The term ‘primary carer’ has mixed definitions and, although this study had a strict criteria, discussions about primary care with participants were not straightforward and instead revealed complex lives. This raises definitional issues relating to ‘primary care’ and the nature of the family and family networks for this population. By examining the interview process as well as the views of incarcerated primary carer fathers, this paper aims to explore differing constructions of the family for incarcerated fathers within the context of imprisonment. Drawing on research and theory related to families and imprisonment it explores a number of key themes relating to incarcerated primary carer fathers including the complexity and meaning of family for fathers in prison. Ultimately it seeks to explore the following question, what is the nature of family for imprisoned primary carer fathers?


Cinnamon Lindsay Latimer and Alice Mills: Going Straight Home?

Going Straight Home? is a Marsden-funded project which aims to explore the role of stable housing in reducing reoffending for people leaving prison in New Zealand. It involves pre and post-release interviews with a cohort of prisoners. The researchers have spent the last six months going into prisons around New Zealand for the initial interviews and have now begun the challenging task of trying to contact the sample six months later to conduct the first wave of follow-up interviews. This methodology paper will speak to some of the initial findings of the study, and share some reflections on the research process, including the challenges of practising whanaungatanga in the highly restrictive environment of the prison and the difficulties of maintaining contact with an incredibly transient and hard-to-reach population. It will also explore how concepts, such as whānau and ‘home’, can have differing meanings to incarcerated and formerly incarcerated populations, and the nuances of applying these within criminological research.


Luke Oldfield: Pākehā in uniform: Autoethnography of a Spring Hill Corrections Officer


One of many factors contributing to a punitive-thinking public is the physical, psychological and financial remoteness of prisons in contemporary society. These facilities, often closed off in view from the general public, shelter and reinforce misconceptions about prisoners, projecting the most egregious individuals and their behaviors while obscuring a majority of those on the muster. This autoethnography provides my observations as an officer at Spring Hill Corrections Facility, a prison in the North Waikato. It traverses a number of anecdotes from both inside and outside the prison walls, intertwining social realities with the political environment from which the Department of Corrections has been operating. It hopes to illuminate not just the hopelessness of performance measurements such as Reducing Reoffending by 25% but also how much further the (Pākehā) public must come before it sets aside the desire for an ever expanding carceral state.


Each presentation will be allocated 20 minutes. Additional time for questions and discussion will be available in each stream 

Presenters