Forgotten Prisoners: Imperative for Inclusion of Long Termers and Lifers in Research and Policy

Kazemian, Lila and Jeremy Travis (2015). Forgotten prisoners: Imperative for inclusion of long termers and lifers in research and policy. Criminology & Public Policy, 14(2), 355-395 (published online, May 4, 2015).

Although numerous studies have highlighted the negative consequences of mass incarceration, life-course and criminal career research has largely failed to document psychological, social, and behavioral changes that occur during periods of incarceration. This oversight is particularly noteworthy in the case of individuals serving long sentences, as they spend a significant portion of the life course behind bars. The policies and programs targeting prisoners are seldom tailored to long termers and lifers, and we know little about effective interventions, or even how to measure effectiveness, for this population. By drawing on the relevant empirical research, this article underlines the importance of reorienting some research efforts and policy priorities toward individuals serving life or otherwise long prison sentences.