The interaction between young masculinities, trauma and prison

Why focus on male trauma?

Boys and young men are overrepresented in the justice system, and especially so in the prison estate where around 95% of people are male. We also know that people in prison are often some of the most disadvantaged and marginalised people in society and enter prison with extensive trauma histories.  Yet much of the narrative around trauma-informed care in prison centres is around women’s experiences of trauma.  This reduced academic, policy and practice attention on the trauma of males in prison may reflect the widely held perception that prison has been designed for men, as well as reflecting society’s disapproval and distaste at the often-great harms caused by male violence, dominance and oppression and the fact that men are often the source of women’s trauma.

While this position may have a strong basis in fact, and can challenge the compassion of many, there are real implications for human rights, prison management, rehabilitation and public safety in leaving male trauma unacknowledged or unaddressed.

This Info Sheet (written by Nina Vaswani) highlights the potential interactions between trauma, masculinity and prison and outlines some considerations for practice.

Download Information Sheet 98

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Children's and Young People's Centre for Justice
University of Strathclyde
Lord Hope Building, Level 6
141 St. James Road Glasgow G4 0LT

(0141) 444 8622

cycj@strath.ac.uk

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