‘Prison is the worst place a Traveller could be’: the experiences of Irish Travellers in prison in England and Wales

Gavin, P (2019) '‘Prison is the worst place a Traveller could be’: the experiences of Irish Travellers in prison in England and Wales.' Irish Probation Journal, 16. pp. 135-152. ISSN 1649-6396

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Official URL: http://www.probation.ie/en/PB/Pages/WP19000041

Abstract

Irish prisoners are the second most represented foreign national group in the prison system in England and Wales, and while no precise statistics are available, it is estimated that Irish Travellers make up a considerable percentage of the prisoners who identify as Irish. It has been said that Irish Travellers suffer from unequal hardship in prison and this has been linked with racism and discrimination from prison staff and other prisoners. This paper draws on a series of semi-structured interviews undertaken with ex-prisoners from Traveller and non-Traveller backgrounds (n = 37) as part of the author’s doctoral research. It considers more specifically the experiences of those who identified as being Irish Travellers (n = 8), with participants regularly reporting name calling, bullying and racism by both prisoners and prison staff. The paper also reflects on a perceived lack of Traveller engagement with education in the prison system and argues that a lack of literacy has resulted in Irish Travellers being in a prison within a prison.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Irish Traveller, prison, racism, bullying, Irish prisoners abroad
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
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Date Deposited: 03 Dec 2019 10:32
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2019 10:39
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