Promoting well-being and desistance through sport and physical activity: The opportunities and barriers experienced by women in prison

Rosie Meek, Gwen Lewis

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Despite an increased focus on the benefits of participation in sport and physical activity for men in custody, little attention has been paid to its potential role in meeting the specific needs of female prisoners. Qualitative data from female offenders (n¼45) within the English prison estate illustrated that, despite low levels of participation, prison-based sport and physical activities have clear physical and psychological benefits and can be valuable in promoting desistance from crime. Institutional barriers to participation, such as in the provision of activities and the prison regime, coupled with gendered barriers, such as self-presentational and motivational concerns, are identified and explored. Findings are discussed in the context of existing policy and principles of best
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-172
Number of pages21
JournalWomen and Criminal Justice
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2014

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