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Bullying in prisons: Identifying victims and their perpetrators

By Annie Taylor


The full text of this dissertation is available only to University of Leicester members. Please log in with your CFS username and password when prompted.Although prison bullying has been extensively researched, there is a lack of qualitative, exploratory research to investigate prisoners‟ understanding of the behaviour and the individuals involved. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with ten adult male prisoners to investigate three themes: prisoners‟ understanding of prison bullying, the characteristics and behaviours associated with prison bullies and the characteristics and behaviours associated with victims of prison bullying. The interviews were subject to content analysis, where codes were developed around the three themes. Support was found for a regularly cited definition of prison bullying. The research also found specific characteristics and behaviours to be associated with being a bully or a victim. Bullies were thought to have elevated social status, increased popularity, previous prison experience and convictions for serious or violent offences, while victims were thought to have a lack of prison experience, convictions for sexual or minor offences and to be quiet, unassertive and lacking in confidence. The findings of this research support the use of a standardised definition of prison bullying and suggest a need to further raise understanding and awareness of behavioural indicators for prison bullies and victims. This would enable support and intervention to be directed appropriately, thus increasing the safety, security and rehabilitative function of prisons.University of Leiceste

Year: 2009
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