Investigação • 14 mai 2018
What is "prison time" for? (2/3)
Catarina Frois

Catarina Frois, researcher at CRIA-IUL, developed an ethnographic work in a female prison, having conducted monthly visits for a year. This experience, revealed in her recent book “Female Imprisonment”, unique in the Portuguese prison panorama, allowed her to observe the prison context from a perspective very close to its inmates, by exposure to the routines, happiness and anguish of daily life, experiences and limits of 'incarceration'. However, Odemira imprisonment proved to be a very particular case study.

In part 1/3 of this interview, Catarina Frois explained to us that 'Odemira is peculiar because it must be one of the few prisons in Portugal which, due to its small size, is not overcrowded'.

Part 2/3 that now we present refers to the 'reformer' effect of imprisonment. As the researcher highlights, ‘prison policies determine that those people need to be reintegrated (in society). But then we can think of it in another way. And what of those who had what we usually call a functional life outside? (...) How do you reintegrate a person who was already integrated?’

On the other hand, and surprisingly, ‘the supposed purpose of imprisonment is reintegration, but it is not. The objective of imprisonment is for the community and society to see the practical application of justice.’

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