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Citizen convictsPrisoners, politics and the vote$
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Cormac Behan

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088384

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088384.001.0001

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Civic engagement and community participation

Civic engagement and community participation

(p.144) 6 Civic engagement and community participation
Citizen convicts

Cormac Behan

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the level of active citizenship in prison based on the interviews with 50 prisoners. Recognising that citizenship encompasses more than just rights and responsibilities but is intertwined with participation, it considers their activities prior to imprisonment, the opportunities for participative citizenship behind bars and outlines some reasons for involvement in what are characterised as citizenship activities inside. The chapter concludes by reviewing the impact of an institution that limits agency, freedom of choice and movement, and restricts individuals’ involvement in civic society. While engaging in activities traditionally associated with freedom is problematic in prisons, different institutions provide opportunities for various levels of purposeful activity, programme participation and civic engagement. What impact, if any, does prison have on civic engagement and activities associated with citizenship among those who are sent there?

Keywords:   Civic Engagement, Community participation, Volunteering, Prison monitoring organisations

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