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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149948 Find in a Library
Title: Prisoners' Views of Boards of Visitors: A Question of Credibility
Journal: British Journal of Criminology  Volume:34  Issue:3  Dated:(Summer 1994)  Pages:358-365
Author(s): C Martin; D Godfrey
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 8
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: Until 1992, Boards of Visitors of English penal institutions acted as quasijudicial bodies dealing with serious offenses against prison discipline and served as public watchdogs to guard against prison authority abuses; the recent withdrawal of their disciplinary powers was intended to enhance the Boards' credibility by stressing their independence from prison authorities.
Abstract: To assess prisoner awareness of Boards of Visitors and their roles and duties, interviews were conducted with a sample of 140 adult male inmates at a training prison. About 95 percent of inmates had heard of Boards of Visitors. Most information about Boards was acquired anecdotally, and about 55 percent of inmates knew that Board duties included inspection, attention to inmate welfare, and dealing with grievances. Many inmates, however, doubted that Board duties were accomplished effectively. Further, many inmates knew virtually nothing about Board composition and did not recognize the Boards as being independent. Despite the withdrawal of the Boards' disciplinary powers, inmates still regarded them as largely invisible, irrelevant, aligned with prison management, and ineffective. 8 references
Main Term(s): Corrections in foreign countries
Index Term(s): Corrections effectiveness; England; Foreign correctional systems; Foreign inmates; Inmate discipline; Inmate grievances
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