Beyond incarcerated identities: identity, bias and barriers to higher education in Australian prisons

Harmes, Marcus K. and Hopkins, Susan and Farley, Helen (2019) Beyond incarcerated identities: identity, bias and barriers to higher education in Australian prisons. International Journal of Bias, Identity and Diversities in Education, 4 (1). pp. 1-16. ISSN 2379-7363

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Abstract

Incarcerated students face multiple obstacles and constraints while attempting to complete tertiary
and pre-tertiary educational programs within Australian prisons. Some of these barriers relate to the
individual’s attitudes and actions, during and prior to imprisonment, while other barriers may relate to
systemic bias and social disadvantages, which the individual cannot control. The classed and racialized
realities of Australia’s criminal justice system are evident in the dramatically disproportionate rate
of imprisonment of Indigenous people, and in Australian state governments’ increasingly punitive
approach to crime and sentencing which typically captures already excluded and marginalised
populations. This prevailing ‘criminology of the other,’ creates particular tensions for incarcerated
students, who are typically attempting to construct positive student identities, as an alternative to
being defined as ‘other,’ ‘criminal’ or ‘deviant.’ Using data from a focus group discussion with 12
male incarcerated students inside an Australian prison, this article gives voice to our incarcerated
university students, their attempts to construct new horizons for the self through education, and the
numerous barriers they encounter along the way.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Open Access College
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2019 23:54
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2019 03:05
Uncontrolled Keywords: Australian prisons, incarcerated students, student identities, systemic bias
Fields of Research : 13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Identification Number or DOI: 10.4018/IJBIDE.20190101
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35254

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