The purpose of this chapter is to analyse the role of boredom and boredom-aversion in the everyday life of youth imprisonment. Data are drawn from an ethnographic study in Danish secure care facilities and include both participant observation and interviews with the confined youth. Drawing on theories of boredom and the creation of action through risk-taking edgework, the analyses demonstrate how boredom is a key experience in everyday life under confinement. Waiting time is a defining aspect of the boredom that young people experience, and the youth spent much time “doing nothing,” finding it difficult to relate to the institutional routines. Analyses show that the young people, both on the inside and on the outside, deal with experiences of boredom through the generation of action. These pockets of action and excitement, although helping the youth to break with boredom and to keep up their spirits under imprisonment, did not change their dominant experience of lacking control over both their daily life and their future. The chapter thus demonstrates that while boredom was a key experience of their imprisonment, it was also a well-known experience from their everyday life on the outside.
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Publiceret iThe Palgrave International Handbook of Youth Imprisonment