Daina Stanley

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

McMaster U.

Grant number

Gr. 9302

Approve Date

April 19, 2016

Project Title

Stanley, Daina Michelle, McMaster U., Hamilton, Canada - To aid research on 'Caring in Custody: Subjectivity and Personhood in a Men's Prison Hospice,' supervised by Dr. Ellen Badone

DAINA STANLEY, then a graduate student at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada, was awarded a grant in April 2016 to aid research on ‘Caring in Custody: Subjectivity and Personhood in a Men’s Prison Hospice,’ supervised by Dr. Ellen Badone. This research explores end of life and hospice care in U.S. state prisons. More precisely, my study examines community-based hospice care that includes prisoners in the process, and the experiences of prisoners as either receiver or provider of end-of-life care. The research involves a critical policy analysis and fieldwork over two years in men’s maximum and medium security prisons. The grantee conducted participant observation of prison medical units, infirmaries, an assisted living unit and a prison hospice and interviews with prisoners, correctional and medical staff, and local hospice experts. The study also followed the journeys of five men through terminal illness, active dying and physical death, and the experiences of the prisoners who cared for them. The research offers new insights into the paradoxes of care and custody, life and death, compassion and suffering, as well as the intersections between them. This study presents a counter-narrative to popular representations of prisons ‘ and those who inhabit its spaces ‘ as inherently violent and offers new understandings of the carceral world as spaces were car(ing) might exist within, but also apart from, repression. This research will inform policymakers and suggest meaningful models of peer-based, person-centered hospice care that include prisoners in the process.