Brief report: Past, present, emergent and future identities of young inmates
This study aims to investigate how young inmates integrate temporal and contextual elements of identity and what is the role of education in identity integration. Twenty-six young inmates were interviewed. Thematic analysis revealed that inmates integrated the elements of four time identities using different mechanisms to deal with each identity: (a) Past identity (before imprisonment) is defined by cumulative risk factors, where detachment from family, society, and institutions prevails; (b) present identity is characterized by the engagement in prison's educational activities; (c) emergent identity (until their release) is characterized by their requests for a proper education and training and their commitment to acquire qualifications; (d) future identity (after their release) is characterized by the investment on future aims for personal growth, family, education/work and community. Inmates used the non-formal educational program, which was offered in prison, as a vehicle towards positive identity contemplation.