16th Reintegration Puzzle Conference

Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre
1-3 March 2023

Changing Seasons,
Changing Lives

At the Intersection of the Criminalised Identity and Re/Integrative Ritual

For the individual who has experienced incarceration, the extent to which they themselves, or others identify them as ‘criminal’ will influence their self-conceptualisation, relationships, and wider social interactions. Subsequently if an individual’s capacity to re/integrate post incarceration is influenced by their capacity to shift or change the ‘criminal’ identity – to re-script – then it is important that we have a thorough understanding of how this can occur.

The criminalised identity is reinforced and solidified by the rituals of imprisonment. Physically removed from society, uniformed, and provided with a numeric identifier, the individual is symbolically stripped of other identities and becomes a prisoner. Re/integrative rituals symbolically mark the transition from the prison to the community. Despite research supporting the use of such rituals at re-entry, systemic opportunities to do this are not often available to those who have been incarcerated. Very little is known regarding the potential for individual level rituals to support re/integration.

Conceptually the individual’s capacity to re-script following imprisonment and rituals of re/integration intersect at, and in, narrative.  In the context of my PhD I intend to investigate this intersection via the lens of the co-produced prison podcast.  In this presentation I will explore the podcast and podcasting as vehicles for exploring the concepts of narrative, ritual and identity in the post prison context, and the potential implications for post prison re-entry.


Davinia Rizzo
PhD Candidate
, University of Melbourne

Davinia Rizzo (she/her) is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne, School of Political and Social Science. Prior to her current studies she completed honours degrees in both Criminology and Psychology and has worked across both the adult and youth justice systems in Victoria. Davinia’s research is undertaken in the context of the prison and post-release, and considers issues of narrative and identity change, the role of social media and digital technology during re-entry, and avenues which can support the voices of those with a lived experience of incarceration and the carceral space.