Generations Through Prison Project: Final Results

Prof Mark Halsey1

1Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia

This paper outlines the key results of the Generations Through Prison project. Based on an ARC Future Fellowship, the project sought to understand the causes and consequences of intergenerational incarceration in a single Australian jurisdiction. Surveys and interviews with second, third, and fourth generation prisoners, helped bring the personal and social significance of the prison within various families to the fore. The paper focuses on  the normalisation of prison (and its criminogenic dimensions), the prison as surrogate family (as a type of homecoming), as well as the apparently high rates of unresolved trauma and loss among this group (particularly, but not only, for Aboriginal prisoners). Policy implications are briefly relayed.


Mark Halsey is a Professor of Criminology at Flinders University, and is Co-Editor of the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. He holds two ARC Discovery Grants: one of these examines the role of firearms in criminal life, and the other explores the challenges of reintegration for a group of Aboriginal prisoners in South Australia and the Northern Territory. His forthcoming book (co-authored with Melissa de Vel-Palumbo) Generations Through Prison: Lived Experiences of Intergenerational Incarceration, will be published by Routledge in 2020.


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