Moderating Hope in the Awaiting for Release: A Practical Approach for Imprisoned Female Offenders in Malaysia

  •  Siti Sh Zainal    
  •  Ma'rof Redzuan    
  •  Nobaya Ahmad    
  •  Haslinda Abdullah    


The concept “hope” has always been synonymous with a force that usually leads to imaginable and feasible good and better life (Ward & Wampler, 2010). According to Snyder (2000), hope can generate useful paths to reach desired goals and signifies one’s thoughts about his or her capacity to use the pathways. This dimension of hope is pertinent for people who are confined or constricted either mentally or physically. For imprisoned offenders, hope is perhaps the only strength that still exists and that keeps them going. However, what hope would mean to the offenders differ when they are inside the prison from when they are outside, after being released. Hope at the outside is achievable for the reason that capacities can be operated by following paths (Burnett & Maruna, 2004). However, hope for getting out from a prison can be maddening or even despairing, given that a release depends on one’s verdict. The longer the sentence, then the later would the hope be accomplished. How then prisoners cope with their high hope to be released sooner when they need to serve time undergoing their judgment?

For many years, people have deliberated about women and prison. Female offenders are very much affected as soon as they are sentenced to imprisonment. Ten years or even just a year of a sentence would subjectively disrupt their mental health especially for those with children. Thus, it requires lots of strength to endure a period of long and uncertain separation. Without a proper credence, high hope may raise significant frustration, instead. Hence, it is essential for female offenders to overcome the conflict of having high expectations behind the prison walls. This article explains how some Malaysian female offenders moderate their hope in prison to keep their sanity while waiting to be released. 

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