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Prisoners’ participation and involvement in prison life: examining the possibilities and boundaries

Prisoners’ participation and involvement in prison life are becoming important topics featuring on European political agendas. To investigate the different types of prisoner participation and involvement in one prison in Belgium, the experiences of prisoners and professionals, and the processes that...

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Bibliographic Details
Main Author: Brosens, Dorien
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Published: 2019
In:European journal of criminology
Year: 2019, Volume: 16, Issue: 4, Pages: 466-488
Online Access: Volltext (Verlag)
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Summary:Prisoners’ participation and involvement in prison life are becoming important topics featuring on European political agendas. To investigate the different types of prisoner participation and involvement in one prison in Belgium, the experiences of prisoners and professionals, and the processes that enhance or limit prisoners’ participation, 11 focus groups have been conducted with prisoners (N = 36) and professionals (N = 42). A thematic analysis of this data identifies that various formal and informal participation initiatives exist, but several barriers between prisoners, prison staff and prison management impede (structural) participation. Implementing and increasing the participation and involvement of prisoners requires organizational and cultural changes. The article concludes by discussing practical issues raised by the study, as well as some limitations.
ISSN:1741-2609