The grief experience of prison inmate hospice volunteer caregivers

J Soc Work End Life Palliat Care. 2014;10(1):80-94. doi: 10.1080/15524256.2013.877866.


Correctional institutions are obligated to provide end-of-life care to a population with complex medical needs. Prison hospices are increasingly being formed to address this demand. Few empirical studies have examined the impact of caring for dying inmates on the hospice inmate volunteers, who, in several prison health care systems, provide direct care. In this study, experiences of the inmate hospice volunteers with death were investigated to illuminate their grief processes. Understanding the bereavement needs of hospice volunteers and how prison hospice volunteers navigate grief and remain committed to providing excellent hospice care can inform the grief processes and practices of hospice care professionals.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Death
  • Bereavement*
  • Caregivers / psychology*
  • Grief
  • Hospice Care / organization & administration
  • Hospice Care / psychology*
  • Hospices / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prisoners*
  • Social Work / organization & administration
  • Volunteers / psychology*