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The Psychologist Vol 29 No 3 March 2016

The Psychologist Vol 29 No 3 March 2016

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In 2013, prisoners in England and Wales were banned from receiving books, as part of a new 'incentives and earned privileges' regime. Declaring the ban unlawful the following year, a High Court judge said: 'A book... may be very useful or indeed necessary as part of a rehabilitation process.' I was reminded of an old saying, 'People are sent to prison as punishment, not for punishment.'

How does this play out in practice? What is the experience of imprisonment like, and how do psychologists play their part in rehabilitation? This month a collection of articles considers these questions, beginning with Ian O'Donnell on solitary confinement (p.184).

There's more, including a look at 'new frontiers of family' ahead of a Society seminar series (see p.204). Keeping these packed issues coming is a challenge, so thanks to all who responded to my call for contributions in the latest 'From The Psychologist' e-mail. So many interesting ideas: sometimes this feels like the best job in the world!

Dr Jon Sutton
Managing Editor @psychmag


  • The survival secrets of solitaries
    Ian O'Donnell finds resilience and growth in a most unlikely environment
  • The emperor's new clothes?
    Graham Towl and David Crighton consider sex offender treatment and the 'New Public Management' trend
  • Rehabilitation - writing a new story
    Adrian Needs looks at the importance of process and context in turning prisoners' lives around
  • Understanding the experience of imprisonment
    Joel Harvey discusses the role of the psychologist

New frontiers of family
Naomi Moller and Victoria Clarke explore embryo donation and voluntary childlessness, ahead of their Society seminar series

New voices: Live long or live well?
Evelyn Barron with the latest in our series for budding writers


  • Letters
    Time for insulting reviews to stop?; instilling scientific rigour at the grassroots; finding a path to peace; video gaming; President's Letter; obituaries; and more


  • New Wellcome Collection exhibition; Cambridge Science Festival; school counselling; parenting trials; briefing parliamentarians; art and science in the waiting room; and more


  • Adversity and compassion; being autistic at work; lucid dreaming; and more, in the latest from our free Research Digest (see


  • 5 minutes with...
    We talk to Emily Glorney about the Law Commission report on fitness to plead tests
  • Interview
    Gail Kinman talks to Ad Vingerhoets about crying
  • Careers
    We meet Elizabeth Peel, and Steven Brown reflects on a PhD defined by conflict
  • One on one
    With Roxane Gervais


  • Intelligence and human abilities; Room; The Revenant; Dark Circus; rethinking anorexia; The Brain with David Eagleman; the London International Mime Festival; and more

Looks back

  • The centenary of a maverick
    Philip Corr on the life and work of Hans J. Eysenck
  • 25 years ago
    Go to for our archive, including prison riots

Big picture
Image by George Harding, words by Victoria Tischler


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