Prison as punishment or for punishment : perceptions within Irish society

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Ward, Aoife
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Social Science
Dublin Business School
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The aim of this research project was to investigate the perceptions of Irish society on issues surrounding many of the areas of the Irish prison system. Qualitative research methods were used to carry out this project and thematic analysis was used to analyze the data that was collected. The data used for this research project was collected through interviews and letters. The age of the participants ranged from 20 – 23, and all participants were from the South of Dublin. Results of the analysis of the data highlighted a number of key areas within the prison system on which the participants had both positive and negative views. The main conclusions of this research project were that perceptions in society do in many ways mirror the actual problems that occur in the Irish prison system. Despite being an institution for punishment to offenders in society, it was clear that those in society felt that offenders should still be treated like human beings, regardless of what crime or crimes they have committed and through this respectful treatment, rehabilitation would occur.