Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Criminology and Criminal Justice

First Advisor

Kenneth B. Perkins, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Michael Phelan, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Braxton Apperson, Ph.D


This study, Loss and Grief: A New Framework for Examining the Unanticipated Consequences of Incarceration, looks at loss and grief as unexpected effects of imprisonment on those sentenced to prison. Qualitative research methods are used to form grounded theory in finding and describing these circumstances.

The conclusions resulting from this study hae been developed inductively from a collection of data yielding results that are descriptive and non-numerical. Data for this work were obtained from literature, texts, interviews, reports, feelings of individuals, and experiences of the researcher.

Grounded theory, anomie and concepts from unanticipated consequences from the theoretical framework for the methodology. Identified losses cause inmates to grieve, reacting through certain defined stages of grief. Social death and security threat groups which affect an inmate's level of functioning during incarceration are also addressed.

As a result of incarceration inmates suffer through being deprived of basic possessions and they lose specific aspects of their personhood. A figure shows these losses. Bereavement and its effects are discussed. Findings are reported as result of the research and stated in the context of a newly developed theory.



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