Journal article

Untrustworthy subjects? Risks, blame and gradual prison release in Ukraine

Anton Symkovych

European Journal of Criminology | SAGE PUBLICATIONS LTD | Published : 2020


Penal authorities and society in general perceive prisoners as untrustworthy. Much of the administration of punishment constitutes the assessment and management of the risks that prisoners pose. In this article, I explain how Ukraine balances the noble goals of prisoner reintegration with an inherent mistrust of prisoners. Drawing on a semi-ethnographic study of a medium-security prison for men, I discuss how, in anticipation of their freedom, prisoners also calculate their perceived risks. Through examination of how prisoners assess their vulnerability to risky behaviour and opt out from gradual release, I argue that prisoners as well as the state often deem themselves untrustworthy subject..

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