Officers and Drug Counsellors: New Occupational Identities in Nordic Prisons
Very few studies have investigated the new occupational identities of the prison staff that emerge following the growth of PDT (Prison drug treatment). The main focus of this
article is on how prison officers and counsellors in drug treatment programs manage (new) dilemmas between punishment and rehabilitation evolving as a result of the growth of PDT.
British Journal of Criminology 55 (2): 303-320
Increasingly, prison drug treatment is introduced in European prisons. This increase may begin to change the prison as officers and drug counsellors are given new occupational responsibilities. Based on six month of observational studies and qualitative interviews with 104 prison employees in Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway in 12 prisons, this article investigates the practices and values of drug counsellors and officers. This shows that increasingly, counsellors integrate the control and disciplinary sanctions of the prison environment into their treatment approach. Simultaneously, officers working in drug treatment wings highlight the importance of the treatment ethos in their control work, adjusting the social representations of their professional identities accordingly. We discuss whether the concepts of treatment and control should be rethought.
Keywords: prison drug treatment, occupational identities, control, treatment, Nordic countries