Imposed Stories: Prisoner Self-narratives in the Criminal Justice System in New South Wales, Australia

Abstract

This article examines the ways in which offenders are required to provide very particular accounts of themselves and to self-narrate in confined ways. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted in the New South Wales justice system, it explores how the stories that offenders are made to accept and tell about themselves often bear little relationship to their own reflections. It analyses how, despite the expectations of judges and prison authorities, these self-narratives are not products of an offender’s soul-searching concerning his past actions and experience; rather they are products of an official legal narrative being imposed on an offender whose capacity to own and enact such a narrative is already seriously compromised.
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Published: 2016-03-01
Pages:38 to 51
Section:Articles
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Author Biography

University of Western Sydney
 Australia
Lecturer, Schoolof Social Sciences and Psychology