Peer support as a bridge for participation in prison activities and services: A qualitative study with foreign national prisoners

Flore Croux, Liesbeth De Donder, Bart Claes, Stijn Vandevelde, Dorien Brosens

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Abstract

This paper investigates the role of informal peer support as a bridge for participation by foreign national prisoners in prison activities (e.g. education, work, sports activities, library) and services (e.g. psychologist, doctor). A total of 51 individual interviews, following an appreciative inquiry perspective, were conducted with foreign nationals in four prisons in Flanders (Belgium). In terms of leading foreign nationals to prison activities and services, the findings reveal four types of informal peer support: informational support, instrumental support, emotional support, and social companionship. Moreover, during participation in these prison activities and services, three types of informal peer support emerged: informational support, instrumental support, and social companionship. Peer support seems to be a ‘form of survival’ for foreign nationals to overcome barriers experienced in accessing prison activities and services and difficulties during participation in such prison activities and services.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalCriminology & Criminal Justice
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jul 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Flemish Research Foundation (FWO) (grant number G.0269.17 N).

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Copyright:
Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Keywords

  • Foreign nationals
  • Informal peer support
  • participation
  • prison activities and services
  • Social support

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