U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Unlocking a Locked-down Regime: The Role of Penal Policy and Administration in Northern Ireland and the Challenges of Change

NCJ Number
Howard Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 51 Issue: 5 Dated: December 2012 Pages: 458-473
Azrini Wahidin; Linda Moore; Una Convery
Date Published
December 2012
16 pages
This article examined the impact of the conflict on the development and character of the prison system in Northern Ireland.
The aim of this article is to examine the impact of the Conflict on the development and character of the prison system in Northern Ireland. It traces the use of imprisonment to repress challenges to the legitimacy of the state, and the ways in which prisoners and communities have resisted oppressive penal policies. Evidence is presented that notwithstanding the peace process and early release of most politically-motivated prisoners, regimes within the North's three prison establishments remain heavily influenced by the experience of violence, with a prioritization of security over care and rehabilitation. The establishment, in 2010, of an independent Prison Review led by Dame Anne Owers, has presented an opportunity to address the underlying problems within the prison system. The article concludes by exploring the implications of the Northern Ireland experience for other transitional jurisdictions undergoing penal reform. Abstract published by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons.