Philosophy in prisons
Dr Kirstine Szifris of PERU today presented the findings from her PhD work at the British Sociological Association conference at Northumbria University.
She articulated how philosophy encouraged prisoners to listen to each other, develop empathy and can promote positive 'growth' identities.
Her work articulates the role of the social climate of a prison in shaping the experience of incarceration. She argues that this experience can have a clear impact on a prisoner’s identity, with a preoccupation with survival in a potentially dangerous environment, leading to the forming of hyper-masculine ‘survival’ identities. Instead, philosophy provides a space that could encourage the development of a future-oriented, positive, ‘growth’ identity.