Caregiving and support for older, frail and disabled people in prisons: poly-vocal perspectives from the landings

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The proportion of older prisoners has increased dramatically meaning there are currently 13,283 prisoners over the age of 50 in UK prisons. Increased frailty and disability have exposed issues in relation to supporting Older, Frail and Disabled People in prison (OFDPs) with their functional health needs and accessing formal health and social care services. This paper discusses the experiences of providing care and support for OFDPs living with health and social needs, the factors that intensify the OFDPs experience of disadvantage and makes recommendations for policy and practices. Data was collected using qualitative methods, namely ethnography and semi-structured interviews. The data was coded and thematically analysed and interpreted using ethics of care and critical realist philosophical frameworks. The data reflects the experiences and perspectives of prison officers, prisoner caregivers, OFDPs and the researcher. The research renders visible the influence of institutional practices and wider socio-political discourses on the experiences of individuals who provide care and support to vulnerable OFDPs. The research proposes several recommendations based on the development of safer, care practices, training and adequate resourcing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalBritish Journal of Community Justice
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2023


  • Older prisoners
  • frail prisoners
  • functional health
  • ethics of care
  • disabled prisoners
  • peer caregiving
  • prison officers


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