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PRISONHEALTH: Prisoner health in healthy prisons

Punishment, marginalization, and access to welfare.

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About the project

The aim of the PRISONHEALTH project is to provide new and groundbreaking knowledge about the effects of high-quality in-prison healthcare services and the potential of ‘healthy prisons’.

In Norway, prisoners retain all rights to welfare provisions while they are incarcerated, including the right to high-quality healthcare services free of charge. At the same time, studies show that a number of physical and mental health problems are relatively common among prisoners. Research also suggests that prison environments in themselves can cause, contribute to and exacerbate health problems. With the PRISONHEALTH project, our aim is to find out whether welfare state health care services reach prisoners, and identify possible challenges and obstacles to healthcare service delivery in prison and how to avoid them in practice. We want to examine the long-term effects of prison healthcare delivery from the perspective of individual prisoners as well as that of general society, including effects on health-related outcomes such as living conditions, criminal activity and post-release mortality. And we want to find out whether prisons can, in some circumstances, provide prisoners with a positive and constructive environment where personal development and growth is possible.  

PRISONHEALTH is designed as an ambitious and groundbreaking synthesis of three different disciplines, each with its own theoretical perspectives and analytical traditions, drawing together established scholars working in the fields of medicine, sociology, criminology and law.

Work packages

  • Work package 1 (TBA)
  • Work package 2 (TBA)
  • Work package 3 (TBA)


PRISONHEALTH is funded by the Research Council of Norway's Research Programme on Welfare, Working Life and Migration (VAM).


PRISONHEALTH cooperates closely with the PriSUD project at SERAF - Norwegian Centre for Addiction Research as well as researchers from the University of Bath, the University of Oslo Sociology and Human Geography (ISS) and Public and International Law (IOR) departments.

Published Mar. 24, 2020 8:17 AM - Last modified Apr. 26, 2022 3:24 PM