skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 126236 Find in a Library
Title: Coming to Terms with Existential Death: An Analysis of Women's Adaptation to Life in Prison
Journal: Social Justice  Volume:17  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1990)  Pages:110-125
Author(s): C Jose-Kampfner
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 16
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article presents a comparison of the process of acceptance of long-term imprisonment of 70 women serving long sentences and offers some comparison with female, nonoffenders facing death. While in prison, these women experience a feeling of out of existence or existential death that parallels physical death.
Abstract: The similarities and differences of both groups in experiencing denial, anger, mourning, acceptance, and hope for the future are described. Both dying patients and women in prison grieve the termination with the world and experience other similar stages, although mourning is always present for women in prison, particularly when they hear from the outside world. However, contrary to the dying patient, women in prison do not experience the support from family and friends in coping with the anger, depression, and denial. These limitations of the prison environment regarding an appropriate expression of grief and anger will present psychological consequences for the inmates upon later release into the real world. Imprisonment is clearly a punishment rather than a rehabilitation. 4 notes and 10 references
Main Term(s): Female offenders; Long-term imprisonment
Index Term(s): Effects of imprisonment; Mental health
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.