Politically motivated former prisoner groups: community activism and conflict transformation
Ó hAdhmaill, Féilim
Northern Ireland Community Relations Council
Aims and objectives: This study represents the first sustained quantitative and qualitative attempt to involve both Republicans and Loyalists in an investigation of the impact of imprisonment and the role of politically motivated former prisoners in the process of conflict transformation in Northern Ireland. The overall aim of the project is to examine the ways in which groups of former prisoners are involved in peace-building and conflict transformation work and to evaluate the constraints and impediments placed upon their activities by the effects of the imprisonment process, politically motivated release and residual criminalisation. In pursuing the evaluation of the role of politically motivated former prisoners working within and without their own communities, the research has six specific objectives: To trace the evolution and development of former prisoner groups; To evaluate the impacts of imprisonment and release on the personal lives of former prisoners; To assess the constraints imposed on former prisoners as agents of change by the residual criminalisation arising from their status; To determine the potential of the former prisoner community in challenging intra-community tensions and evaluate their potential and actual contribution to conflict transformation at the inter-community level; To compare and contrast the effectiveness of Loyalist and Republican former prisoners as agents of change within their own communities; To explore the notion of former prisoners as agents of social and communal transformation within broader political processes through grounding the knowledge and practical experience of the former prisoner community within the broader conceptual context of conflict transformation.
Political ex-prisoners , Northern Ireland , Peace building , Conflict transformation , Community activism
Shirlow, P., Graham, B., Ó hAdhmaill, F., McEvoy, K. and Purvis, D. (2005) Politically motivated former prisoner groups: community activism and conflict transformation. Belfast: Northern Ireland Community Relations Council.
© 2005, the Authors.