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Sport in Prison: Exploring the Role of Physical Activity in Correctional Settings

Overview

Although prison can present a critical opportunity to engage with offenders through interventions and programming, reoffending rates among those released from prison remain stubbornly high. Sport can be a means through which to engage with even the most challenging and complex individuals caught up in a cycle of offending and imprisonment, by offering an alternative means of excitement and risk taking to that gained through engaging in offending behaviour, or by providing an ...

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Overview

Although prison can present a critical opportunity to engage with offenders through interventions and programming, reoffending rates among those released from prison remain stubbornly high. Sport can be a means through which to engage with even the most challenging and complex individuals caught up in a cycle of offending and imprisonment, by offering an alternative means of excitement and risk taking to that gained through engaging in offending behaviour, or by providing an alternative social network and access to positive role models.

This is the first book to explore the role of sport in prisons and its subsequent impact on rehabilitation and behavioural change. The book draws on research literature on the beneficial role of sport in community settings and on prison cultures and regimes, across disciplines including criminology, psychology, sociology and sport studies, as well as original qualitative and quantitative data gathered from research in prisons. It unpacks the meanings that prisoners and staff attach to sport participation and interventions in order to understand how to promote behavioural change through sport most effectively, while identifying and tackling the key emerging issues and challenges.

Sport in Prison is essential reading for any advanced student, researcher, policy-maker or professional working in the criminal justice system with an interest in prisons, offending behaviour, rehabilitation, sport development, or the wider social significance of sport.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Bridging literature from diverse fields, and combining theoretical insight with an unusually broad range of empirical sources, Rosie Meek has provided a vital analysis of the history, role and potential benefits of sports and physical activity in prisons. Sport in Prisons is a groundbreaking and well-grounded book and it deserves a wide readership." – Dr Ben Crewe, University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology, UK

"With an abundance of negative information about prison cultures, Sport in Prisons is a refreshing look at how even simple programs such as physical education can make a positive difference for staff and residents of these institutions. Dr. Meek makes a compelling case to invest in sports programs in prisons while also providing critical knowledge about organizational and other barriers to implementing these changes. Given the rampant problems associated with prisons worldwide, this book will most certainly appeal to an international audience." – Associate Professor Laura S. Abrams, UCLA, Luskin School of Public Affairs, USA

"There is a dangerous, tabloid-led movement afoot in the UK that seeks to reduce prisoner gym access and involvement in sport. Meek’s thoughtful, rigorous analysis of the impacts of such activities on prisoners and prison climates is precisely what is needed to combat such blatant stupidity. It should be widely read by those genuinely interested in a rehabilitation revolution." – Professor Shadd Maruna, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, N. Ireland

“The manner in which theoretical insights are supplemented by data gained through interviews with prison staff and former prisoners renders this work both informative and engaging. It is a comprehensive resource for those working within the area of criminal justice and those with an interest in the rehabilitative value of sport and prison culture.” – Lydia Buckley, University College Cork, Ireland, published in the ECAN bulletin from The Howard League for Penal Reform

"It is undoubtedly useful as an academic text, but also is written in a style that a PEI, Head of Reducing Re-offending or Governor could easily pick up and use to shape their thinking in a practical way. Meek has balanced literature from a combination of diverse fields and her own research, in an original,interesting, yet easily readable format for all types of readers." – Paul Crossey, Head of Young People, HMYOI Feltham, Published in Prison Service Journal

From the Publisher
"Bridging literature from diverse fields, and combining theoretical insight with an unusually broad range of empirical sources, Rosie Meek has provided a vital analysis of the history, role and potential benefits of sports and physical activity in prisons. Sport in Prisons is a groundbreaking and well-grounded book and it deserves a wide readership." – Dr Ben Crewe, University of Cambridge, Institute of Criminology, UK

"With an abundance of negative information about prison cultures, Sport in Prisons is a refreshing look at how even simple programs such as physical education can make a positive difference for staff and residents of these institutions. Dr. Meek makes a compelling case to invest in sports programs in prisons while also providing critical knowledge about organizational and other barriers to implementing these changes. Given the rampant problems associated with prisons worldwide, this book will most certainly appeal to an international audience." – Associate Professor Laura S. Abrams, UCLA, Luskin School of Public Affairs, USA

"There is a dangerous, tabloid-led movement afoot in the UK that seeks to reduce prisoner gym access and involvement in sport. Meek’s thoughtful, rigorous analysis of the impacts of such activities on prisoners and prison climates is precisely what is needed to combat such blatant stupidity. It should be widely read by those genuinely interested in a rehabilitation revolution." – Professor Shadd Maruna, Institute of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Queen’s University Belfast, N. Ireland

“The manner in which theoretical insights are supplemented by data gained through interviews with prison staff and former prisoners renders this work both informative and engaging. It is a comprehensive resource for those working within the area of criminal justice and those with an interest in the rehabilitative value of sport and prison culture.” – Lydia Buckley, University College Cork, Ireland, published in the ECAN bulletin from The Howard League for Penal Reform

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rosie Meek is a chartered psychologist and Head of the Centre of Criminology and Sociology at Royal Holloway University of London, UK. She is a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar and holds honorary visiting appointments at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York and the Institute of Criminology at the University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Towards a conceptualisation of the role of sport in prison Chapter 3. Setting the scene: participation in sport and physical activity across the prison estate Chapter 4. Promoting sport and physical activity in diverse prisoner populations Chapter 5. The benefits of and barriers to participating in sport and physical activity for women and girls in prison Chapter 6. Sport and youth crime: how far has our understanding developed? Chapter 7. The role of sport in reducing reoffending and promoting desistance Chapter 8. Rugby and football initiatives for young men in prison: a quantitative and qualitative evaluation Chapter 9. The contribution of sport towards education and employment opportunities in prison Chapter 10: The role of sport and physical activity in prison-based health promotion Chapter 11. Promoting order and control, adaptation and citizenship in prison through sport Chapter 12. Considering the risks and challenges associated with sport and physical activity in prison Chapter 13. The importance of sport and physical activity for prison staff Chapter 14. Conclusions, implications and future research directions

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