Building a Research Partnership in a Prison Context: From Collaboration to Co-Construction

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7 Citations (Scopus)


This research paper describes a framework for building a collaborative research partnership in a prison context. There is an increasing awareness of the added value of partnerships for prison research, but most academics and correctional institutions are not familiar with this methodology. Besides, this paper demonstrates that participatory research in a prison has the potential to increase the response rate and realize a better research design. The establishment of a steering group of professionals provided an important participation forum. The steering group was responsible for the design, planning, implementation, coordination and evaluation of the research project. Prisoners were central figures in providing information, giving feedback, etc. during the whole research process. This article evaluates the different methodological and practical steps in building the partnership and conducting the research. Furthermore, the ethical and emotional challenges associated with prison research as well as the challenges related to participatory research are considered. Conclusively, key factors are discussed that contributed to the success of the research project.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Number of pages15
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2015


  • Prison
  • Participatory research
  • Focus groups
  • Survey research
  • Research ethics
  • Challenges


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