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Performing well: male prisoner experiences of drama, dance, singing and puppetry in England

PAGE, Sarah, Chambers, Victoria and GRATTON, Nicola (2022) Performing well: male prisoner experiences of drama, dance, singing and puppetry in England. Incarceration: An international journal of imprisonment, detention and coercive confinement, 3 (2). ISSN 2632-6663

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This paper outlines art form impacts used within Staging Time at an adult male sex offender prison in England by drawing on the voices of prisoners (aged 21 to 75 years), including those with undiagnosed autistic traits. We qualitatively investigate prisoner experiences from drama (n = 11), dance (n = 12), puppetry (n = 7) and singing (n = 15) projects using a Theory of Change approach. Based on themed analysis of self-report data from 4 world cafés and 44 follow-up questionnaires, we conclude arts projects positively contribute to health and well-being, forming healthy relationships and prison culture. By applying a Desistance Theory lens, we argue arts projects provide building blocks towards crime abstinence. Whilst all arts projects improved prisoner well-being, dance had greater propensity for increasing physical fitness. With a focus on dance impacts, our research widened to stakeholder and practitioner interviews (n = 4), alongside analysis of secondary data from dance performance audience feedback sheets (n = 48) collected by Staging Time. Audience members included prison staff, prisoners, prisoner family members and close friends and a small group of invited stakeholders. Arts projects have wider impacts upon staff, other prisoners, and family members.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: prison arts, mental health, sex-offenders, autism, prison culture, desistance
Faculty: School of Law, Policing and Forensics > Sociology, Criminology and Terrorism
Depositing User: Sarah PAGE
Date Deposited: 06 Jun 2022 09:51
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2023 14:03

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