A critical exploration of the causes and challenges of the rise in the prison population in the prison establishment in Cyprus - the Central Jail of Nicosia

Spyrou, Katerina (2017) A critical exploration of the causes and challenges of the rise in the prison population in the prison establishment in Cyprus - the Central Jail of Nicosia. Doctoral thesis, Northumbria University.

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Abstract

Over the last decade, the Central Jail of Nicosia (CJN) - the only correctional institution in the Republic of Cyprus – saw a significant rise in its prison population. Today, the CJN is facing a number of challenges to its legitimacy which are evident in recent episodes of prison unrest, and the rise in self-harm, suicides and rapes. This research aims to provide a critical exploration of the reasons behind the increase in the prison population, and the challenges this brings.

The review of current evidence, while limited, suggests a number of possibilities which might account for the rise including political patronage, racism and corruption. In order to consider issues that concern the rise and challenges of the prison population, this study focuses on the connection between imprisonment and micro elements of the Cypriot society/culture such as crime rates and trends, levels of social expenditure, public opinion and punitiveness, and institutional trust and legitimacy. Exploration of the increase in the prison population was carried out within a critical realist framework.

Data was collected using twenty seven semi-structured interviews with Criminal Justice System ‘elites’, (including politicians, judges, public prosecutors, prison staff, prison administrators, senior counsels of the Republic of Cyprus, officers from the Ombudsman Office, and the Ombudsman herself). Thematic analysis of this qualitative data aimed to uncover the deep and often unobservable structures and mechanisms that influence the prison population in Cyprus.

The findings of this study suggest that the reasons behind the increase in the prison population and its challenges display significant correlation with political patronage, racism, and corruption, and explain the unprecedented levels of immigrants within the Central Jail of Nicosia. The study also revealed that foreign immigrants are at greater risk of rape and suicide, and the impacts of corruption by those in authority. Finally the study, suggests that the rise and the challenges of the rise in the prison population have significant social, economic and political axioms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Crime control, punitiviness, penal populism, penal nationalism, immigrants
Subjects: L300 Sociology
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Social Sciences
University Services > Graduate School > Doctor of Philosophy
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 11:15
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2019 08:07
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/36178

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