This is a detailed ethnographic study of a therapeutic prison unit in Canada for the treatment of sexual offenders. Utilizing extensive interviews and participant-observation over an eighteen month period of field work, the author takes the reader into the depths of what prison inmates commonly refer to as the “hound pound.” James Waldram provides a rich and powerful glimpse into the lives and treatment experiences of one of society’s most hated groups. He brings together a variety of theoretical perspectives from psychological and medical anthropology, narrative theory, and cognitive science to capture the nature of sexual offender treatment, from the moment inmates arrive at the treatment facility to the day they are relased. This book explores the implications of an outside world that balks at any notion that sexual offenders can somehow be treated and rendered harmless. The author argues that the aggressive and confrontational nature of the prison’s treatment approach is counterproductive to the goal of what he calls “habilitation” -- the creation of pro-social and moral individuals rendered safe for our communities.
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