Beyond the Wire: Former Prisoners and Conflict by Peter Shirlow

By Peter Shirlow

This e-book offers the 1st designated exam of the position performed via former loyalist and republican prisoners in grass roots clash transformation paintings within the Northern eire peace approach. It demanding situations the assumed passivity of former prisoners and ex-combatants. as a substitute, it means that such members and the teams which they shaped were key brokers of clash transformation. they've got supplied management in demanding cultures of violence, constructed sensible tools of resolving inter-communal clash and located methods for groups to discover their stricken prior. In analysing this, the authors problem the sterile demonisation of former prisoners and the techniques that preserve their exclusion from basic civic and social existence. The e-book is a confident reminder of the necessity for complete participation of either former fighters and sufferers in post-conflict transformation. It additionally lays out a brand new time table for reconciliation which means that clash transformation can and will commence ‘from the extremes’. The booklet can be of curiosity to scholars of criminology, peace and clash reports, legislations and politics, geography and sociology in addition to people with a selected curiosity within the Northern eire clash.

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Additional resources for Beyond the Wire: Former Prisoners and Conflict Transformation in Northern Ireland

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Mrs Thatcher announced that the result changed nothing: ‘A crime is a crime is a crime ... It is not political, it is a crime’ (O’Malley, 1990: 60). Bobby Sands died on 5 May 1981, on the 66th day of his hunger strike. His funeral was attended by over 100,000 people and his death produced a massive (and largely negative) international reaction to perceived British intransigence (Taylor, 1997, 1980). Despite a range of efforts by mediators (Collins, 1986), and direct channels of communication to the British government through the Foreign Office, ten hunger strikers were to die before this second hunger strike was called off in October 1981.

It may also be a response to material conditions or a result of poor (as well as strategic) leadership within the prison. Violence may even be a rational calculation in which its efficacy is compared to other strategies of resistance. Prisons are places which are well known for their capacity to produce violence from both staff and inmates. , 2003). Apart from individual factors which may motivate particular offenders towards violence, more generic structural factors include the nature of the prison regime, levels of fear among inmates, Shirlow 01 intro 39 12/11/07 14:44:15 40 Beyond the Wire cultures of violence, impunity in particular institutions, poor training or educational facilities, and poor training of and/or a propensity towards violence from prison staff.

Criminalisation is a perspective which views prisons as more than simply places to contain, interrogate and imprison combatants while conflict is ongoing on the outside. Rather, they become key sites in efforts to ‘break’ prisoners. Denying their status as political and presenting Shirlow 01 intro 28 12/11/07 14:44:13 Understanding Political Imprisonment 29 them as criminal actors is, by extension, to deny the broader political character of the struggle in which they are engaged. Implementing a criminalisation policy in the prisons requires a contingent and partial attitude to law and legality.

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