Biophilia and Biophobia: Diverse Experiences of Nature in Prison

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


This article focuses on the ways imprisoned men experience ‘nature’ - one of several broad terms used which allowed participants to freely associate interview questions with their own experiences. The concepts of biophilia (innate love of nature) and biophobia (innate dislike, discomfort or disregard of nature) are used to frame imprisoned interactions with and responses to nature. This approach acknowledges that relationships with nature are complex, layered and influenced by the built environment, prison regime, and individual differences. Imprisoned men, herein, had complicated relationships with nature. They were often denied access to desirable nature, whilst undesirable aspects - pests, uncomfortable temperatures, and sensory intrusions - were amplified by physical imprisonment and the design of carceral structures. Exposure to positive and negative aspects of nature may impact rehabilitation, desistance and re-entry into the community. It is, therefore, an important consideration in the exploration of both prison design and the harms of imprisonment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPapers from the British Criminology Conference
Publisher British Society of Criminology
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022

Publication series

NamePapers from the British Criminology Conference
PublisherBritish Society of Criminology
ISSN (Print)1759-0043


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