The impact of the prison environment on behavioral changes of inmates: a study of inmates in Kosovo and Finland

Published date04 April 2020
Date04 April 2020
AuthorFerid Azemi
subjectMatterHealth & social care,Criminology & forensic psychology
The impact of the prison environment on
behavioral changes of inmates: a study of
inmates in Kosovo and Finland
Ferid Azemi
Purpose This study aims to focus on understanding the prison environment, inmates’ behavior and
perceptions of the prison environment, analyzing the degree of awareness, rehabilitation and the
programs that apply to prisons in both countries. It is assumed that the data that emerge from this
research will contribute to a better understanding of the prisoner’s world of their perception about the
prison environment in Kosovoand Finland. The study focused on inmates’ perception aboutthe prison
environmentand their attitudes toward their sentences.
Design/methodology/approach Qualitativestudy through in-depth interviews.
Findings The resultsof this study indicated that inmatesin Kosovo perceived the prison environmentin
a very negative light.The main reasons for this were the dissatisfactionwith their status of being inmates
and also lack of an appropriate classification of inmates. However, even though inmates in Finland
perceivedprison environment in a positivelight, they still think that more educativeprograms are needed.
Practical implications The results of this study indicated that Kosovo Correctional Service shou ld
implement more rehabilitative programs and improve its classifica tion system. Criminal Sanction Agency in
Finland as per results should increase efforts for implementat ion of new programs and aftercare action plans.
Originality/value To the best of the author’s knowledge, it is the first research on inmates in two
countriesKosovo and Finland, and this added new knowledgeto the existing informationabout the prison
environment in Kosovoand Finland. The results of this researchgave an idea to respective institutions to
add new rehabilitativeand aftercare programs.
Keywords Impact, Crime, Prison, Behavior, Environment, Inmates
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Previous research indicates that the prison environment positively or negatively affects the
behavior of prisoners in various countries. In the absence of various rehabilitation and
resocialization programs, prisons often fail to reduce the degree of recidivism. Social and
environmental factors may increase risks of incarceration by constraining choices and pro-
social opportunities for community integration upon release (Barrenger et al., 2017). There
are also many different factors, such as overcrowding, lack of educative and rehabilitation
programs that contribute to the negative perception of inmates about the prison
environment. According to Roberts et al. (2017), wide-range studies suggested that family
therapies may indeed be helpful for prisons and their families. Prison environment in many
cases had caused inmates depression, substance abuse and the physical attacks are
associated with increased prevalence of depression, sentence time served with both any
and heavy substance use and overcrowding (Albertie et al.,2017). Education also plays a
crucial role in reducing recidivism rates, and many inmates benefit from programs offered
by the correctional system (Duke, 2018).
Ferid Azemi is based at the
Boston University, Boston,
Massachusetts, USA and
Kosovo Academy for Public
Safety, Vu
citrn, Kosovo.
Received 21 January 2020
Revised 14 February 2020
Accepted 14 February 2020
Conflicts of Interest: The author
declares no conflicts of interest.
DOI 10.1108/JCRPP-01-2020-0010VOL. 6 NO. 2 2020, pp. 123-136, ©Emerald Publishing Limited, ISSN 2056-3841 jJOURNAL OF CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH, POLICY AND PRACTICE jPAGE 123

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