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Title: "[...] they didn't ask us to come here, did they?" : foreign national prisoners in Northern Ireland : a case study of Polish prisoners
Author: Martynowicz, Agnieszka
ISNI:       0000 0004 6348 5842
Awarding Body: Ulster University
Current Institution: Ulster University
Date of Award: 2017
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This thesis presents the findings of a study undertaken with Polish male prisoners in Maghaberry and Magilligan prisons in Northern Ireland. In a jurisdiction emerging from years of armed conflict, the prison system is currently undergoing changes which attempt to deal with the structural problems stemming from that conflict's legacy. Alongside that reform, another transition is evident: that of a rapidly increasing national and linguistic diversity of the prison population. It was therefore important to study how this change impacts on the prisons in Northern Ireland where as recently as 2011 their practice in relation to the treatment of national and ethnic minorities was assessed as being "culturally blind” (PRT, 2011b: 39]. Using data obtained in a series of semi-structured interviews with eighteen prisoners, a number of semi-structured interviews with staff and representatives of independent prison monitoring bodies, this thesis examines how Polish prisoners negotiate daily life in prison custody in Northern Ireland. Analysing the ways in which they experience deprivations of prison life, the thesis is also concerned with the prisoners’ methods of adaptation to prison regimes in an environment which they often struggle to understand. Looking at the ways in which they forge relationships with other prisoners and staff, the thesis concludes that many of the male Polish prisoners in Northern Ireland live in a prison within a prison, with a high wall of communication barriers around them, suspended between their entry into custody and the ever-looming moment of deportation. The prison system, largely unprepared to deal with more nationally and linguistically diverse populations, facilitates their existence in 'mono- cultural boxes’ in the meantime.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available