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Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”Developments in Critical Victimology$
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Marian Duggan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781447338765

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447338765.001.0001

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Male prisoners’ vulnerabilities and the ideal victim concept

Male prisoners’ vulnerabilities and the ideal victim concept

Fourteen Male prisoners’ vulnerabilities and the ideal victim concept
Revisiting the “Ideal Victim”

Jennifer Anne

Sloan Rainbow

Policy Press

Men in prison are often seen as the creators of victims and are positioned completely in opposition to the 'ideal victim'. Yet many prisoners are actually victims themselves, in their past, present and future lives, physically, mentally and emotionally. Whilst this does not sit well with feminist positions of offender blaming and punishment, it is necessary that we confront male victimisation and vulnerabilities in prisons in order to reduce future offending and harm that results from the vulnerable positionality. Drawn from interviews conducted as part of an ethnographic study, this chapter examines the vulnerabilities of men in prison and the unseen victimisation processes that they undergo. Male prisoners may, in many cases, be victims of the socio-structural inequalities and class based ‘structural violence’ which Christie (1986: 24) highlighted; however, in addressing the subjective identities occupied by these ‘non-ideal’ victims, a greater understanding of the truths and experiences of the ‘non-ideal’ offender is provided.

Keywords:   male prisoners, vulnerabilities, structural violence, subjectivities, non-ideal offenders

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