‘If you’re down with a gang inside, you can lead a nice life’: prison gangs in the age of austerity

Maitra, Dev Rup (2020) ‘If you’re down with a gang inside, you can lead a nice life’: prison gangs in the age of austerity. Youth justice, 20 (1-2). pp. 128-145. ISSN 1473-2254

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Abstract

In many countries, there has been growing academic attention towards the activities of street and prison gang members. However, while much of the American literature explores the experiences of prison gang members, such investigation has been notably absent in the English context. This article seeks to address this deficit in the literature. Through gathering data from interviews with active prison gang members, it shows how reduced staffing levels in English prisons has led to an increasingly ‘ungovernable’ prison space. This, in turn, has led to an increase in levels of gang membership. Most notably, the high numbers of street gangs ‘imported’ into prisons has had the unintended effect of creating several ‘in prison’ gangs, which form for the first time in prison, with their members seeking protecting from more established gangs. This proliferation of gangs has had a significant impact on rates of in-prison violence, and how prisons are managed.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: far-right, gangs, organized crime, penology, political economy, prison gangs, race relations, radicalization, street gangs, youth violence
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Applied Social Sciences
Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Dev Rup Maitra
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2020 09:35
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2020 09:35
URI: http://oars.uos.ac.uk/id/eprint/1320

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