Semiotic Practices: A conceptual window on the post-prison experience


Most prisoners get out of prison. Staying out, for some, can be challenging. Understanding these challenges can help ex-prisoners and those supporting them to interrupt cycles of offending and imprisonment. This paper considers the possibilities of ‘culture’ as an analytical tool for uncovering aspects of the post-imprisonment experience that may contribute to imprisonment cycles. It draws on interviews with released prisoners and post-release support workers in Victoria, Australia, to illustrate how culture interpreted as ‘semiotic practices’ illuminates processes underpinning and constituting the cycle of reimprisonment. A semiotic-practical lens reveals how such processes can counteract efforts towards reintegration and reduced reoffending, on the part of ex-prisoners themselves and society more broadly.

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Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2014-12-01
Pages:98 to 112
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How to Cite
Johns, D. F. (2014) “Semiotic Practices: A conceptual window on the post-prison experience”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 3(3), pp. 98-112. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v3i3.149.

Author Biography

RMIT University

Lecturer, Justice & Legal Studies

School of Global, Urban & Social Studies

RMIT University