Accepted Paper:

Prison as a place of Work  


Marja-Liisa Räisänen (University of Turku)

Paper short abstract:

In my presentation I bring out the Konnunsuo firstly as a place of work, secondly a place for living in the neighborhood of a prison and thirdly the meaning of the prison to the local community.

Paper long abstract:

In 2003, the Finnish government established a program to increase the productivity in public sector. Government cost-cutting program aimed was to enhance government agencies, and to make savings in the public sector. Savings were made by early retirement, and combining government agencies. My paper focuses on the Konnunsuo Prison which was located in Lappeenranta and was in operation in 1918-2011. The closure of the prison was a sensation, resulting in numerous newspaper articles from 2009 until the end of 2011.

Prison as a working place is quite extraordinary, for people are working in a closed interior.Place is also affected by occupational choice, people chose the carrier in the prison because it was close to their home farms.

My study is different from research done so far in correctional treatment precisely in that earlier studies have been based on educational needs in correctional treatment or they have focused on the problems. In Cultural Research, this kind of study on the critical period of correctional treatment has not been made before.

The study is based on the concepts of cultural change, community research and working life research. I look for a reply to a question of how the prison workers have experienced the crises in their work and how the crises are felt in their everyday life. The latest crisis has been that they have changed from permanent into temporary workers. In the preliminary analysis of the interviews, the last big crisis of the Konnunsuo Prison, its closure, is strongly evident.

Panel P33
Locality and cultural processes