The aim of this article is to examine the impact of the Conflict on thedevelopment and character of the prison system in Northern Ireland. It traces the use ofimprisonment to repress challenges to the legitimacy of the State, and the ways in whichprisoners and communities have resisted oppressive penal policies. Evidence is presentedthat notwithstanding the peace process and early release of most politically-motivatedprisoners, regimes within the North’s three prison establishments remain heavily influencedby the experience of violence, with a prioritisation of security over care andrehabilitation. The establishment, in 2010, of an independent Prison Review led byDame Anne Owers, has presented an opportunity to address the underlying problemswithin the prison system. The article concludes by exploring the implications of theNorthern Ireland experience for other transitional jurisdictions undergoing penalreform.
|The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice
|Published (in print/issue) - Dec 2012