Prisoners with Severe Mental Illnesses and Everyday Prison Interior (Re)design

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, we explore processes and practices of everyday prison interior (re)design through analysis of the creation of a specialist unit for prisoners with severe mental illnesses in a large reception prison in the North of England. We argue that meeting the needs of prisoners with serious mental illnesses forms an increasingly important part of decision-making regarding contemporary prison (re)design. Firstly, we attend to adaptation to understand the complexities of re-designing existing interior spaces within the custodial estate to meet the needs of specific groups. Secondly, we explore the opportunities presented by indeterminacy, as the Unit began operating when so many elements of its design, usage and regime were still unknown. Finally, we elucidate the centrality of forms of accommodation in the re-design of the Unit, involving compromise and negotiation. We conclude that attuning analysis of prison design to the everyday processes and practices that shape much of the custodial estate enables insights to improve the re-design and adaptations of existing prisons.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Prison Design
EditorsDominique Moran, Yvonne Jewkes, Kwan-Lamar Blount-Hill, Victor St. John
Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
Number of pages31
ISBN (Electronic)9783031119729
ISBN (Print)9783031119712
Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2022

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies In Prisons and Penology
PublisherPalgrave MacMillan
ISSN (Print)2753-0604
ISSN (Electronic)2753-0612


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