Mothering from the inside: research on motherhood and imprisonment

By Jul.08, 2020

An exciting and innovative new edited collection on motherhood, mothering and imprisonment is to be published by Emerald Publishing in 2020. Dr Kelly Lockwood, Lecturer in Criminology, edited the eclectic and captivating collection titled Mothering from the inside : research on motherhood and imprisonment.

As well as editing the book, Dr Lockwood has contributed a chapter titled ‘The ties that bind : stories of women in prison who are mothers to older adult children’. Summarising her work Dr Lockwood writes: “For some women, imprisonment may present the opportunity to repair and rebuild fractured relationships with their children; however, for many, being separated from their children is constructed as the most difficult aspect of imprisonment (Crewe, Hulley & Wright, 2017), with the potential to severely alter, disrupt or even terminate mothering (Lockwood, 2017; 2018). Available research highlights the importance of mothering in relation to women’s adjustment to and experiences of imprisonment and upon their rehabilitation, resettlement and potential reunification (Baldwin, 2017; Lockwood, 2017, 2018; Shami and Kochal, 2008)”

Situating the book within the existing research field, Dr Lockwood goes on to say: “Consistent with prison policy and practice, available research tends to rely on narrow definitions that often construct motherhood in relation to younger children, under the age of 18 (Caddle and Crisp, 1997). Consequently, the stories, experiences and needs of mothers in prison with older adult children often remain unheard”.

This group is of particular interest to Dr Lockwood: “Focusing on the individual stories of mothers in prison and those who have recently been released from prison, I consider the way in which women story motherhood in relation to older adult children. Presenting three interrelated narratives; “Mothering from a distance: stories of missing out on children’s transitions to adulthood”; “‘Motherwork’: stories of participating in mothering adult children”; and “‘Role reversal’: stories of receiving support from adult children’, I consider the specific challenges and opportunities for mothers in prison with older adult children”.

Posted in Uncategorized