Dr Jenna Pandeli has recently published a blog post for the American Sociological Association. The blog piece is a condensed article of Dr Pandeli’s paper published in Work Employment and Society this summer.
This summer we have seen what could be considered one of the largest prison strikes in US history, where prisoners are undertaking nineteen days of peaceful protest.
Some of the demands that underpin these protests are the need for improved prison conditions and greater funding in rehabilitation. But at the heart of this protest is a demonstration against imposed prison labour and the disturbingly low wages that accompany such work. This approach to prison work, an approach where profit is becoming more prevalent and private organisations are becoming more and more involved in the prison system, is not isolated to the US.
The research discussed here is based on a study conducted in the UK and is particularly pertinent in helping us to understand the reasoning behind the strikes and the feelings and experiences of those prisoners protesting.
Employment has been singled out as an important factor in reducing reoffending.