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Prisoners' participation and involvement in prison life in the prison of Ghent

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

To investigate the participation initiatives that exist in the prison of Ghent, the surplus value of this, who participates, and the preconditions to realise prisoners’ participation and involvement in prison life, 11 focus groups were conducted with prisoners and professionals. The results demonstrate that not only formally organised projects but also several informal initiatives exist. Classifying the initiatives in the pyramid of citizen participation makes clear that most prisoners are informed about all sort of things, but the higher in the pyramid, the smaller the group that is reached. Recently arrived prisoners, foreign language speaking prisoners and internees are less involved. Furthermore, participation and involve- ment in prison life have advantages for prisoners (e.g. higher self-esteem, developing new skills) and correctional institutions (e.g. higher level of dynamic security). Lastly, preconditions to realise prisoners’ participation and involvement in prison life are for instance meeting basic comfort needs, providing training and support and giving attention to the involvement of prison officers.
Journal: Panopticon: Tijdschrift voor Strafrecht, Criminologie en Forensisch Welzijnswerk
ISSN: 0771-1409
Issue: 5
Volume: 37
Pages: 416-432
Keywords:Participation, Involvement, prison life
  • ORCID: /0000-0003-4999-5902/work/68877122
  • VABB Id: c:vabb:415342