Workshop 2014

End-of-Life in Prison: Talking Across Disciplines and Across Countries

International Workshop | Fribourg (CH) 5th/6th December 2014

What a good end-of-life (EOL) means, is a particularly relevant question in the context of confinement and prison. Most of the questions and issues raised by EOL for those living in liberty also apply to the correctional setting. However, the institutional particularities and logics of the prison create unique barriers and make it difficult in practice to reconcile concerns in regard to EOL – like care and comfort – with the mandate of corrections – confinement and punishment. At present the literature on EOL in prison is rather scarce. Researchers from various disciplines in various countries are analyzing the topic from their disciplinary perspective and within the respective institutional frame of their national context. The workshop therefore aims to bring together scholars and discuss EOL in prison across disciplines and across national contexts. We are interested in theoretical contributions, empirical approaches as well as practical research that is policy oriented. The papers should focus on one or a combination of the following questions:

  • What are institutional practices in dealing with EOL in prison and how are they fitted in the institutional logic of the prison?
  • How are the various actors involved and affected by processes of EOL in prison?
  • What specific legislations or less formal rules exist concerning EOL in prison?


Ueli Hostettler, Marina Richter, Irene Marti | Sociology, Social Policies and Social Work, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

Nicolas Queloz, Stefan Bérard | Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland


Alison Liebling (University of Cambridge) | the meaning of ending life in prison
Caroline Devynck, Sonja Snacken, Wim Distelmans (Vrije Universiteit Brussels) | End-of-life and mental suffering in prison
Irene Marti (University of Fribourg) | End-of-life in closed prisons in Switzerland: institutional logic between „care“ and „custody“
Aline Chassagne, Aurelie Godard (CHRU Besançon) | PARME study: Palliative care in prison. The intersection of inmates and patients
Stefan Bérard, Nicolas Queloz (University of Fribourg) | End-of-life in Swiss prisons: legal and criminological aspects
Mary Turner (University of Lancaster) | Palliative care in prison: practical and emotional challenges for custodial staff, healthcare professionals and fellow prisoners

The workshop is open to the public. Participation is free of charge. For a registration please send an e-mail until 25th of November to Space is limited and an early registration is recommended.