Although prison can present a critical opportunity to engage with offenders through interventions and programming, reoffending rates among those released from prison remain stubbornly high. Sport can be a means through which to engage with even the most challenging and complex individuals caught up in a cycle of offending and imprisonment, by offering an alternative means of excitement and risk taking to that gained through engaging in offending behaviour, or by providing an alternative social network and access to positive role models.
This is the first book to explore the role of sport in prisons and its subsequent impact on rehabilitation and behavioural change. The book draws on research literature on the beneficial role of sport in community settings and on prison cultures and regimes, across disciplines including criminology, psychology, sociology and sport studies, as well as original qualitative and quantitative data gathered from research in prisons. It unpacks the meanings that prisoners and staff attach to sport participation and interventions in order to understand how to promote behavioural change through sport most effectively, while identifying and tackling the key emerging issues and challenges.
Sport in Prison is essential reading for any advanced student, researcher, policy-maker or professional working in the criminal justice system with an interest in prisons, offending behaviour, rehabilitation, sport development, or the wider social significance of sport.
"In light of current tough economic conditions, with sport sitting outside of the payment by results agenda, it is essential that, as with art, the impact of sport as a way of engaging with prisoners, helping them to rehabilitate or uniquely simply improving their health, is fully understood, and this book goes some way to achieving that. It is undoubtedly useful as an academic text, but also is written in a style that a PEI, Head of Reducing Re-offending or Governor could easily pick up and use to shape their thinking in a practical way. Meek has balanced literature from a combination of diverse fields and her research, in an original, interesting, yet easily accessible format for all types of readers." —Paul Crossey, Prison Service Journal
Chapter 1. Introduction Chapter 2. Towards a conceptualisation of the role of sport in prison Chapter 3. Setting the scene: participation in sport and physical activity across the prison estate Chapter 4. Promoting sport and physical activity in diverse prisoner populations Chapter 5. The benefits of and barriers to participating in sport and physical activity for women and girls in prison Chapter 6. Sport and youth crime: how far has our understanding developed? Chapter 7. The role of sport in reducing reoffending and promoting desistance Chapter 8. Rugby and football initiatives for young men in prison: a quantitative and qualitative evaluation Chapter 9. The contribution of sport towards education and employment opportunities in prison Chapter 10: The role of sport and physical activity in prison-based health promotion Chapter 11. Promoting order and control, adaptation and citizenship in prison through sport Chapter 12. Considering the risks and challenges associated with sport and physical activity in prison Chapter 13. The importance of sport and physical activity for prison staff Chapter 14. Conclusions, implications and future research directions