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Digitalisation in prison : an exploratory study of living and working in prisons in Belgium

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Abstract
Background: Prisons in Belgium are increasingly affected by the digital turn, which challenges living and working in it. Initiatives include e-learning, in-cell telephone, and a video call-project. Newly opened prisons in Belgium even run a digital platformfor prisoners, called PrisonCloud. So far, research studying digitalisation in prison is scarce. The aim of this research is therefore to assess how prisoners’ access to and use of digital technologies affect living and working in prison. Method: As part of a larger project, in which ethnographic research was conducted in a PrisonCloud prison, three prisons with a different extent of (non-PrisonCloud) digitalisation were selected: one prison with and one prison without in-cell telephone, and one prison with video-call possibilities. In these prisons, interviews were conducted with prisoners (n=18) and prison officers (n=14), focusing on their experiences on the access to and the use of digital technologies in prison and the impact of digitalisation on living and working in prison. Results: This presentation will focus on the impact of the access to and use of digital technologies on the experiences of prisoners, on the experiences, tasks and functions of prison officers, and on the prisoner-staff relationships. Based on the results of this study, the development of a survey about digitalisation will be discussed, challenges will be highlighted and recommendations will be formulated.
Keywords
digitalisation, prison, Belgium, exploratory study

Citation

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MLA
Mertens, Anouk, et al. “Digitalisation in Prison : An Exploratory Study of Living and Working in Prisons in Belgium.” EUROCRIM 2020, 20th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Book of Abstracts, 2020, pp. 47–47.
APA
Mertens, A., Maes, E., & Robert, L. (2020). Digitalisation in prison : an exploratory study of living and working in prisons in Belgium. In EUROCRIM 2020, 20th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Book of Abstracts (pp. 47–47). Online.
Chicago author-date
Mertens, Anouk, Eric Maes, and Luc Robert. 2020. “Digitalisation in Prison : An Exploratory Study of Living and Working in Prisons in Belgium.” In EUROCRIM 2020, 20th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Book of Abstracts, 47–47.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Mertens, Anouk, Eric Maes, and Luc Robert. 2020. “Digitalisation in Prison : An Exploratory Study of Living and Working in Prisons in Belgium.” In EUROCRIM 2020, 20th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Book of Abstracts, 47–47.
Vancouver
1.
Mertens A, Maes E, Robert L. Digitalisation in prison : an exploratory study of living and working in prisons in Belgium. In: EUROCRIM 2020, 20th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Book of Abstracts. 2020. p. 47–47.
IEEE
[1]
A. Mertens, E. Maes, and L. Robert, “Digitalisation in prison : an exploratory study of living and working in prisons in Belgium,” in EUROCRIM 2020, 20th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Book of Abstracts, Online, 2020, pp. 47–47.
@inproceedings{8679083,
  abstract     = {Background: Prisons in Belgium are increasingly affected by the digital turn, which challenges living  and  working  in  it.  Initiatives  include  e-learning,  in-cell  telephone,  and  a  video  call-project.  Newly  opened  prisons  in  Belgium  even  run  a  digital  platformfor  prisoners,  called PrisonCloud.  So  far,  research  studying  digitalisation  in  prison  is  scarce.  The  aim  of  this research is therefore to assess how prisoners’ access to and use of digital technologies affect living and working in prison.  Method:  As  part  of  a  larger  project,  in  which  ethnographic  research  was  conducted  in  a PrisonCloud prison, three prisons with a different extent of (non-PrisonCloud) digitalisation were selected: one prison with and one prison without in-cell telephone, and one prison with video-call possibilities. In these prisons, interviews were conducted with prisoners (n=18) and prison  officers  (n=14),  focusing  on  their  experiences  on  the  access  to  and  the  use  of  digital technologies in prison and the impact of digitalisation on living and working in prison. Results:  This  presentation  will  focus  on  the  impact  of  the  access  to  and  use  of  digital technologies on the experiences of prisoners, on the experiences, tasks and functions of prison officers,  and  on  the  prisoner-staff  relationships.  Based  on  the  results  of  this  study,  the development of a survey about digitalisation will be discussed, challenges will be highlighted and recommendations will be formulated.},
  author       = {Mertens, Anouk and Maes, Eric and Robert, Luc},
  booktitle    = {EUROCRIM 2020, 20th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology, Book of Abstracts},
  keywords     = {digitalisation,prison,Belgium,exploratory study},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Online},
  pages        = {47--47},
  title        = {Digitalisation in prison : an exploratory study of living and working in prisons in Belgium},
  url          = {https://www.eurocrim2020.com/docs/7a9c76_931ccd2891e14c4d97f1a17d6883013f.pdf},
  year         = {2020},
}