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Practices of care in a multi-pavilion prison: An exploratory study on the role of the built environment

  • Annemans, Margo; 72799;
  • Coomans, Koen; 90472;
  • Heylighen, Ann; 11081;
Publication Date
Jul 01, 2022
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People’s health and well-being is known to be affected by the built environment. Since prisons are confronted with an overrepresentation of people with mental and physical health issues, we examine how the built prison environment affects the provision of care for prisoners with specific needs. Based on observations and (focus group) interviews with prisoners, prison officers, and care-staff, we report on the experiences of specific groups in highly particular prison environments: various pavilions of a former penal colony. By analyzing spatialities in relation to practices and temporalities of care, we provide a nuanced understanding of what caring entails in a prison environment. We show that in this context caring for safety, normality, and physical health ideally go hand in hand. To conclude, we illustrate that the need for control within a prison environment can be reduced by spatial variety, offering different types of settings matching different care and living needs, and allowing movement between settings depending on these needs. / status: Published online

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