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Digitalisation in Prison



Description: This research focuses on digitalisation in prison and involves the daily experiences of prisoners and prison staff. The key objective was to understand (a) the implementation/development process of the digital platform PrisonCloud, (b) how a digitalized context changes the experiences of prison space, (c) how digital technologies change the social interactions between prisoners and prison staff. The experiences of, and interactions between, staff and prisoners were studied by an in-depth multi-sided ethnographic study in one digital prison. The second part of the project is a comparative study of all prisons of the North Region of Belgium (Flanders), that assessed the social climate in digitalized and non - or less - digitalized prisons, conducted by the National Institute of Criminology and Criminalistics (NICC).

Outputs: Doctoral thesis, academic articles, conference presentations, communications for a broader public

Relevant publications:

Beyens, K., Robberechts, J., & Vanhouche, A.-S. (2020). De coronacrisis als momentum voor het gevangeniswezen? Panopticon, 41(3), 365-372.

Robberechts, J., & Beyens, K. (2020). PrisonCloud: the beating heart of the prison cell. In J. Turner & V. Knight (Eds.), The Prison Cell: Embodied and Everyday Spaces of Incarceration (pp. 283-303). Palgrave Macmillan.

Robberechts, J. (2020). Digital privacy behind bars. Prison Service Journal, (248), 10-16.

Maes, E., Robberechts, J., Beyens, K., & Robert, L. (2019). PrisonCloud voor gedetineerden. Grenzen aan digitale normalisering? Panopticon, 40(1), 29-45.

Beyens, K. (2015). PrisonCloud. Een ICT platform voor Belgische gevangenissen. Panopticon, 36(2), 122-126.

Coordinator: Prof Kristel Beyens and Eric Maes

Researcher: Jana Robberechts and Anouk Mertens

Partners: National Institute of Criminology (NICC)

Funding: Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek  (FWO)

Duration: 2016-2020