Spinhuis Center

Prison design and detention experience

“Prison design affects how inmates experience the conditions of their detention”

Despite historical interest for the construction of prisons, much is unclear about how prison design affects detainees. Researchers Karin Beijersbergen, Anja Dirkzwager, Peter van der Laan and Paul Nieuwbeerta have investigated the relationship between the design of Dutch prisons and the way detainees experience their detention.

(This Factsheet is only available in Dutch.)

dr. Anja Dirkzwager

About dr. Anja Dirkzwager

Anja Dirkzwager received her Ph.D. degree in 2002 for a dissertation on posttraumatic stress reactions among Dutch soldiers who participated in international peacekeeping operations, and the wellbeing of their family members. Subsequently, she worked at the Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research (NIVEL) investigating the physical and mental health consequences of disasters.

As of August 2007, she works as a senior researcher at NSCR. She is one of the principal investigators who initiated the Prison Project, a nationwide and longitudinal study on the effects of imprisonment on the further life-course of prisoners and their families. Her research interests include the physical and mental health of prisoners and their family members; prisoners’ perceptions of the conditions of confinement; and the effects of imprisonment on the further life-course.

She is chairing the ESC working group Prison Life & Effects of Imprisonment.

Anja is a member of the Life-course Cluster, the Intergenerational Cluster and the Sanctions Cluster.

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