The Prison Project investigates to what extent imprisonment has consequences for the relapse, health, career and intimate relations of the (ex-)prisoners.
- Paul Nieuwbeerta
- The Prison Project is financed by the 'Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek' (NWO), Leiden University, the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR) and Utrecht University.
- The Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR)
- Utrecht University
Imprisonment is currently the most severe sanction meted out in the criminal justice systems of European nations. In most countries the imprisonment rate has increased in the past decades. In the Netherlands more than 40,000 people are locked up in prison or a detention centre every year. Despite its manifest importance in crime prevention, there is however surprisingly little knowledge on the (collateral) effects of imprisonment.
PRISONPROJECT.NL examines the consequences of incarceration on criminal behavior and various other life course circumstances (e.g. socio-economic status, social integration, health and family relations) of convicted persons and their family members. Furthermore, attention will be paid to the sentencing practice, prison experience and aid in prison. The research will study around 2,000 convicted persons from 28 Dutch prisons. The partners and children of these convicted persons will also be interviewed as well as employees and support staff in the prisons. In this way, a complete image will be presented about the effects of imprisonment.
The aims of PRISONPROJECT.NL are:
- to provide comprehension of the effect of imprisonment on recidivism
- to provide comprehension of the effect of imprisonment on other life spheres
- to collect information about views and opinions of (ex-)convicted persons, prison staff and helpers about imprisonment and its accomplishment.
The aims will be accomplished by analyzing a unique longitudinal dataset containing four measurements. Participants (convicted persons) will be asked to participate four times during the research period (three years). They will be interviewed before, during and after their imprisonment. A comparable group of persons who received a community sanction will be investigated in this same manner. With this set up, it is possible to investigate to what extent the life course of the participants has changed after their punishment. In addition, the effect of imprisonment will be examined on the life course of (ex-) convicted persons.
PRISONPROJECT.NL is a joint project of Leiden University, the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement (NSCR), and Utrecht University.
For more information, please visit our website (in Dutch).