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Episode summary: Life imprisonment - Why is it that such sentences were almost unheard of a generation ago and what is their impact on prisoners, as well as society? Ben Crewe, Deputy Director of the Prison Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, talks to Laurie Taylor about the largest ever sociological study of long term imprisonment conducted in Europe. Focusing on prisoners convicted of murder & serving life sentences of 15 years or more from young adulthood, it asks how they manage time, think about the future, and deal with existential issues of identity and the meaning of their lives. They’re joined by Elaine Player, Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Kings College, London, who discusses the different needs and experiences of the much smaller number of female ‘lifers’, many of whom are victims of multiple trauma & male violence, drawing on research conducted in a democratic therapeutic community in a women’s prison. Thinking Allowed is produced in partnership with the Open University. Producer:…

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