Introduction: The Significance of the Prison in Irish Nationalist Culture

February 4, 2011 by Leonard, L.  
Filed under Going to Jail

Oversight of Prison Conditions and Investigations of Deaths in Custody: International Human Rights Standards and the Practice in Ireland

February 4, 2011 by Martynowicz, A.  
Filed under Going to Jail

This article examines the mechanisms currently available in Ireland for the oversight of prison conditions and investigation of deaths in custody. It further analyses those against international human rights standards. The establishment of appropriate oversight and investigative mechanisms is increasingly important in the context of the deteriorating conditions in Irish prisons that have been regularly criticized by international bodies such as the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture. This article concludes that some significant reforms are needed in Ireland to ensure effective protection of prisoners’ rights.

The Benefit of Personal Experience and Personal Study: Prisoners and the Politics of Enfranchisement

February 4, 2011 by Behan, C.  
Filed under Going to Jail

Prisoners and ex-prisoners have played a prominent role in modern Irish history. Yet despite using their prison experience for political advancement, on release, few political leaders became vocal advocates of penal reform in general or prisoner enfranchisement in particular. Prior to the passing of the Electoral (Amendment) Act in 2006, Irish prisoners were in an anomalous position: they were allowed to register, but no facility existed, for them to vote. However, this did not prevent prisoners from engaging with, and at times, challenging the political system, both north and south throughout the 20th century. Much has been written about political activity among prisoners in Northern Ireland but relatively little about their endeavors in the Irish Republic. This article begins with an examination of political participation among prisoners in the early decades of the Irish State. Despite the legal and political struggle by prisoners and penal reformers to achieve enfranchisement, when it was granted, it was in the context of electoral, rather than penal reform. Prisoner enfranchisement did not become a major issue in Ireland in contrast to other countries and reasons are examined from a historical and political perspective.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Restorative Justice Practices in the Republic of Ireland Through a Meta-Analysis of Functionalist Exchange

February 4, 2011 by Leonard, L., Kenny, P.  
Filed under Going to Jail

This article presents an analysis of restorative justice practice in the Republic of Ireland. This is achieved through an examination of data on restorative justice conferencing events in various venues around Ireland. From these data, the authors analyze these restorative events through an examination of the "functionalist exchange," which occurs during the interaction between participants in such events. The extent of functionalist exchange is measured through an application of the meta-analysis first utilized in relation to restorative justice practice by Jeff Latimer, Craig Dowden, and Danielle Muise. The study assesses the extent to which functionalist roles become significant in restorative conference outcomes. The article argues that to be truly restorative, events must incorporate the extent to which remorse and subsequent satisfaction is expressed. In addition, the theories of restorative justice are shown to require a further analysis from the practitioners’ perspective, which this article provides. By examining the concepts such as Tomkins’ affect theory and Nathanson’s compass of shame, along with the practitioner-based perspective of Morris and Maxwell, this research constructs a wider understanding of the significance of the functionalist roles of participants during restorative events.

Yes or No Minister: The Importance of the Politician-Senior Civil Servant Dyad in Irish Prison Policy

February 4, 2011 by Rogan, M.  
Filed under Going to Jail

Irish prison policy is notable for the absence of an ideological agenda driving its direction and content. This article examines the impact of the relationship between Minister for Justice, the member of Cabinet responsible for the criminal justice system and prisons in Ireland, and the most senior civil servant within that Department, in the creation of this policy landscape. The Minister-Secretary General dyad in the area of Irish prison policy during the early 1960s is explored in order to assess the importance of this relationship in the formation of prison policy. This period was one of the few in Irish penal history when momentum to change the prison system was evident. The article draws on emerging scholarship on policy analysis within criminology. It suggests that engagement with the policy-making process can provide meaningful data to explain the nature of criminal justice policy.

"Nobody’s Pretending That It’s Ideal": Conflict, Women, and Imprisonment in Northern Ireland

February 4, 2011 by Moore, L.  
Filed under Going to Jail

Based on primary qualitative research with women prisoners in Northern Ireland (conducted for the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission by the author with Professor Phil Scraton 1, Professor of Criminology, School of Law, Queens University Belfast), this article documents the serious and persistent breaches of international rights standards experienced by incarcerated women and the continued impact of the violent political conflict in the North on women’s penal regimes. Feminist authors have commented on the gendered nature of the state’s punishment of politically motivated women in Armagh prison during the years of conflict and have also discussed the ways in which women prisoners used their bodies as weapons of resistance. It is argued here that the failure of the authorities to effectively tackle the historical and current breaches of women prisoners’ rights as part of the process of transition to a more peaceful society has allowed the continuation of control and punishment-oriented regimes for "ordinary" women prisoners. The article explores the state’s failure to reform the women’s prison system in Northern Ireland in the face of successive critical reports from regional, national, and international inspection and "watchdog" bodies that have recommended the establishment of a new "rights-based" women’s prison unit alongside the development of a gender-specific strategy and policies. The article concludes by assessing the current opportunities for change.

Traumatic Histories and Stressful Life Events of Incarcerated Parents II: Gender and Ethnic Differences in Substance Abuse and Service Needs

Substance abuse is increasingly common in prison inmates. This article presents findings on substance abuse and service needs of male and female inmate parents in Arizona, with a particular focus on gender and ethnic differences across inmates. A sample of 838 incarcerated fathers and 1,441 mothers completed anonymous questionnaires regarding traumatic and stressful events experienced as children and/or adults, including addiction. Exposure to childhood and adult traumatic events, especially child abuse, was related to self-reported alcohol and drug problems for both males and females. Mothers reported significantly more postrelease service needs than fathers. Implications for practice and policy are discussed.

Children Residing in Prison With Their Parents: An Example of Institutional Invisibility

This article presents the results of a study carried out in Finland on the position of children who accompany their parent to prison. The study consists of document analyses and staff and inmate interviews in the two Finnish prisons with special units for children. The results highlight the lack of information on children residing in prisons as well as the lack of guidelines for practice illustrated by the term "institutional invisibility." The term "institutional invisibility" informs about the vagueness of the prison practices in relation to children and their parents.

Special Edition on the ‘Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program’

November 30, 2010 by The Prison Journal current issue  
Filed under Going to Jail


November 30, 2010 by The Prison Journal current issue  
Filed under Going to Jail

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