An article on women and prison in Northern Ireland by Linda Moore and Phil Scraton appears in the latest issue of the journal Current Issues in Criminal Justice. The article, entitled: From Conflict to Peace? The Rights Abuses of Women and Girls in Prison in Northern Ireland, and is based on research conducted by the authors in Mourne House, the women’s unit in Maghaberry Prison and the Ash House unit in Hydebank Wood Young Offender Centre.
It explores the imprisonment of women in prison in the context of a society slowly and unevenly emerging from violent conflict and against a backdrop of the global rise of women’s imprisonment over the past two decades. The history of the gendered punishment of politically motivated prisoners is explored, followed by discussion of the findings of primary research in Mourne House women’s unit, and after its closure, in Ash House. The conclusion analyses how women’s prison experiences in the North contribute to an understanding of the contested terrain of agency and resistance. Finally, the article explores the potential for, and barriers, to change within women’s imprisonment in Northern Ireland.