This thesis critically examines correctional discourse on prisoner self-injury produced by the Correctional Service of Canada’s (CSC) Research Branch between 1990 and 2012. Grounded in the extant clinical and correctional discourse that has historically constructed self-injury as practiced by manipulative, violent and/or suicidal prisoners, through a discourse analysis this thesis identifies that a new surge of research published since 2010 demonstrates a shift to predominately pathological explanations that aim to reduce the deviant behaviour to the manifestation of a mental illness. This
domination of the ‘psy-sciences’ as ‘intellectual technologies’ (Rose, 1990, 1996b) bars sociological or otherwise non-psy understandings of self-injury, while political accountabilities result in the displacement of responsibility for self-injury from the prison to prisoners’ mental illness. It is argued that irrespective of methodological approach (quantitative, qualitative, mixed methods), the CSC’s conceptualization of prisoners who engage in self-injury was pre-determined by their ideological alignment with the psy-sciences.