Rehabilitating work with sexual minorities in Danish prisons

Student thesis: Master Thesis and HD Thesis

  • Julie Jørgensen
Sexual minority inmates are not a focal point in the Danish prison system, although being a sexual minority in a heteronormative environment as prisons, may involve some complex issues. To gain knowledge about the personnels’ possibilities to offer the sexual minorities in Danish prisons a holistic rehabilitating effort and the consequences of these possibilities, theories of rehabilitation, punishment as well as sexuality and gender are in this study used. These theories and three semi-structured interviews with prison personnel who work or have worked in Danish prisons are used to conduct the analysis. Robinson & Crow’s rehabilitation theory is the theoretical basis for shaping the qualitative semi-structured interviews. In addition, this theory is used in the analysis to answer the research question regarding the personnels’ possibilities to offer the sexual minority inmates a holistic rehabilitating effort. Judith Butler’s queer theory Gender Performativity and David Hayes’ theory Pains of Punishment are used on the personnels’ statements and experiences with sexual minorities in Danish prisons to analyze the consequences. This study concludes that personnel in Danish prisons experience challenges working within the holistic rehabilitating effort regarding sexual minority inmates. The consequences are expressed by contextual pains of punishment for being a clear sexual minority in a heteronormative dominated prison. The sexual minority inmates are imposed further punishment than the official intention with imprisonment. This study further includes a discussion about the personnels’ possibilities to offer a holistic rehabilitating effort to all inmates. The concept of rehabilitation is also discussed since the personnel express frustration that the idea of rehabilitation is too far from the practical possibilities. Furthermore, the influence of the heteronormative matrix on different gender enter in a discussion about homosexual practices in heteronormative environments.
Publication date6 Jun 2021
Number of pages69
External collaboratorDen Sociale Retshjælps Fond
Direktør Sandy Madar
Place of Internship
ID: 414003062