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Knowing me knowing you: Order and Relationships in an Open Prison in Iceland

By Francis Pakes

There are five prisons in Iceland; two of these are open. In the summer of 2018 I resided for two weeks in these open prisons. I had explained to the prison authorities in Reykjavík that I wanted to assume the role of a quasi-prisoner: I wanted a room, and to eat, sleep and engage in the daily activities that prisoners normally undertook. I have visited many prisons in numerous countries but never experienced a working prison like this, from the inside. 

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logo The Comparative Penology Group is led by Dr Ben Crewe and his research team who, since 2016, have been working on a five-year project titled: 'Penal policymaking and the prisoner experience: a comparative analysis'.

The research is based in England & Wales, and Norway, and involves four inter-related studies of (a) penal policymaking and the penal field (b) the experience of entry into and release from custody (c) the daily experiences of female prisoners and imprisoned sex offenders, and (d) prisoners in the most secure parts of each jurisdiction's prison system.

This project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).