Using a prisoner advisory group to develop diversity research in a maximum-security prison

COWBURN, Malcolm and LAVIS, Victoria (2013). Using a prisoner advisory group to develop diversity research in a maximum-security prison. Groupwork, 23 (3), 32-44.

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This paper addresses groupwork processes with a group of prisoners advising a research project in a maximum-security prison in England. The research project (Appreciative Inquiry into the Diversity Strategy of HMP Wakefield. RES-000-22-3441) was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and lasted 9 months. The research explored the experiences of prisoners in diverse minority groupings and the strategies of the prison to accommodate the complex needs of these groups. The Prisoner Advisory Group (PAG) was made up of representatives from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) prisoners; older prisoners (over 60s); Disabled prisoners (with physical disabilities, learning difficulties; and mental health problems); Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender prisoners; and prisoners affiliated to Faith groups. It met regularly during the research. The paper considers the forming norming and performing aspects of establishing an effective participant voice in a prison-based project. It considers the contribution of the PAG to developing a research strategy that engaged prisoners in the research. It reflects on the nature of ‘participative research’ in general and whether such research is possible within a high-security prison environment.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Hallam Centre for Community Justice
Identification Number:
Page Range: 32-44
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2014 10:11
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 04:37

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