This article is based upon a survey of partners of politically motivated prisoners 1 in Northern Ireland. It examines issues related to the visiting experience, the maintenance of contact through letters, home leave and release, and the provision of support from extended family, civil society and professional agencies. The authors argue that while the political ideology of prisoners and families is important, it does not insulate them from the practical and emotional difficulties of coping with imprisonment. It is also argued that despite a system of relatively well resourced support offered to prisoners' families in Northern Ireland, the failure of the families of politicals to avail themselves of these services offers important lessons for the process of prisoner release and reintegration as part of the Northern Ireland peace process.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Social Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)