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Full Body Search Project


About Full Body Search

This research was based around capturing prisoners and prison officers experience of fully body searching. Although more traditional methods such as interviews and a questionnaire survey were used we also created two re-constructions of fully body searches on video. These videos were used as part of focus groups and as a way of introducing the questionnaire.

These videos are probably our most sophisticated use of video within a projective modality. Fully body searches are highly sensitive interactions between prisoners and prison officers and it is something of a social taboo to talk about them within the culture of prisons. We therefore created these two reconstructions as a means of encouraging participants to project their own experiences onto the video. The sound track on the video is based on interviews with prisoners and prison officers, The quotes used were deliberately chosen so that at times it is difficult to know if it is prisoners or prison officers talking. The actual reconstructions are based around the training handbook for full body searches which details exactly how they should be carried out. The video therefore presents an idealized visual account with an audio account of how this procedure was experienced in reality.

Film 1

Film 2

Contact Information

For information about this project please email Kaye Haw