Broken Lives, Broken Relationships: The Experiences Of Women In A Ghanaian Prison.

ABSTRACT

The prison has emerged as an object of attention and criticism in the works of sociologists

and criminologists. However, among this diverse body of works, little research has been

undertaken which interrogates the very different experience of men and women prisoners. In

particular, there is a paucity of research that adequately explores how women experience

their family relationships while in prison. Considering the fact that a significant number of

female prisoners in Ghana come from impecunious family backgrounds the need to

understand female criminality and its gendered effects on prison experiences become

paramount. This study examines how imprisonment affects the way female inmates

experience family relationships as a consequence of deprivation of liberty and the coping

mechanisms adopted to deal with this phenomenon. It therefore deploys a qualitative

phenomenological approach to collect data using in-depth interview from thirty female

inmates and five prison officers at Nsawam Female Medium Security Prison. Over the course

of the interviews participants gave full and rich accounts of their families and relationships

which were most often unstable and broken, but some are at times maintained and

strengthened in spite of their imprisonment. However, for many others, this topic was

difficult and sensitive to discuss as the feelings of separation, stigmatization, sadness and

regret were expressed during the interviews. The findings suggest that incarcerated mothers

sometimes lose their children and the mother identity. The study also revealed that the

incarceration of women has a repercussion on family relationship, which includes rolevacuum,

financial strain and stigma. It further observed that essential to coping with this

phenomenon was religion and appropriate support from officers and inmates who help to

limit the deleterious effects of imprisonment. Regarding originality and value, the study

develops new understandings in the Ghanaian context about the ways in which female

inmates construct and maintain family relationships both within and outside the prison and

ix

how gender impacts on the prison experience. The study therefore concludes that for most

female prisoners in Ghana familial relationships is greatly altered as a result of incarceration.

It is recommended that the Ghana Prison Service and its stakeholders revise their Ten-Year

Strategic plan and to address some of the issues concerning incarcerated women

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APA

Anku, D (2021). Broken Lives, Broken Relationships: The Experiences Of Women In A Ghanaian Prison.. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/broken-lives-broken-relationships-the-experiences-of-women-in-a-ghanaian-prison

MLA 8th

Anku, Deladem "Broken Lives, Broken Relationships: The Experiences Of Women In A Ghanaian Prison." Afribary. Afribary, 08 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/broken-lives-broken-relationships-the-experiences-of-women-in-a-ghanaian-prison. Accessed 26 May. 2024.

MLA7

Anku, Deladem . "Broken Lives, Broken Relationships: The Experiences Of Women In A Ghanaian Prison.". Afribary, Afribary, 08 Apr. 2021. Web. 26 May. 2024. < https://afribary.com/works/broken-lives-broken-relationships-the-experiences-of-women-in-a-ghanaian-prison >.

Chicago

Anku, Deladem . "Broken Lives, Broken Relationships: The Experiences Of Women In A Ghanaian Prison." Afribary (2021). Accessed May 26, 2024. https://afribary.com/works/broken-lives-broken-relationships-the-experiences-of-women-in-a-ghanaian-prison

Document Details
Deladem Ama Anku Field: Sociology Type: Thesis 144 PAGES (34435 WORDS) (pdf)