Skip navigation

Maximizing the utility of peer support in carceral settings: A few stumbling blocks to consider

Maximizing the utility of peer support in carceral settings: A few stumbling blocks to consider

Perrin, Christian ORCID: 0000-0002-5835-2610 (2020) Maximizing the utility of peer support in carceral settings: A few stumbling blocks to consider. European Journal of Criminology. ISSN 1477-3708 (Print), 1741-2609 (Online) (In Press) (doi:

PDF (Publisher's PDF - Open Access)
29723 PERRIN_Maximizing_the_Utility_of_Peer_Support_in_Carceral_Settings_(OA)_2020.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (136kB) | Preview


Emerging research advocates prison-based peer support programmes not only for the recipients of support but also for those providing it. Such programmes are founded on principles such as reciprocity, shared problem-solving and empathy. Accordingly, there have been recent claims that such structures may engender a magnified impact in carceral settings characterized by deprivation and adversity. Specifically, it has been argued that peer supporters garner opportunities to enact prosocial behaviours and consequently energize desistance narratives while serving time. However, as intrigue and optimism around this untapped resource grow, so too does the need to explore any hindrances that might halt progressive developments. This article presents data from qualitative interviews held with incarcerated peer supporters in the UK. Transcripts of the institutional challenges that participants faced when undertaking their roles were thematically analysed, and suggestions for practitioners are offered. The article calls for professionals and policy makers to further explore the redemptive potential of prison-based peer support.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2020. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Imprisonment, offending behaviour, desistance, peer support, prison reform, peer work
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Department of Psychology, Social Work & Counselling
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2020 22:09
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics