Perceptions of the crime-terror nexus in prison

This study aims to explore whether and how the crime-terror nexus is happening inside prison and examine police professionals' perceptions of strategies aimed at tackling crime-terror relationships.

Key details

Lead institution
Principal researcher(s)
Hannah Bennett
Police region
West Midlands
Level of research
PhD
Project start date
Date due for completion

Research context

The study has three research questions which enable exploration of the phenomenon being studied, while maintaining some relationship to the theoretical anchors in the literature.

The three research questions which will direct the qualitative research are:

  • Question one – Is the crime-terror nexus happening inside prisons within England and Wales?
  • Question two – Do the authorities have the capability to collect the right information to identify if the crime-terror nexus is happening inside prison?
  • Question three – What should be done to further tackle crime-terror relationships inside prisons within England and Wales?

Aims and Objectives

The aim of the study is to firstly explore whether and how the crime-terror nexus is happening inside prison. Then to examine police professionals' and their partner agencies' perceptions of whether the authorities have the capability to collect the right information to identify if the crime-terror nexus is happening inside prison.

In addition, the study aims to offer recommendations on what should be done to further tackle terrorists and criminals from forming unhealthy relationships inside prison.

This overarching aim will be achieved by meeting the following research objectives:

  1. Qualitatively interview individuals from the police and their partner agencies and collect and analyse questionnaire data from prisoners, to identify if the crime-terror nexus happening inside prisons within England and Wales.
     
  2. Interview individuals from the police and their partner agencies, to elicit their perceptions of whether the authorities have the capability to collect the right information to identify if the crime-terror nexus is happening inside prison.
     
  3. Analyse what relevant professionals propose should be done to further tackle crime-terror relationships inside prisons within England and Wales, to produce recommendations to disseminate to the relevant key decision makers and business leads.

Research methodology

The study has three research questions which require me to gain a rich and complex understanding of the participants' experience in order to be answered. Therefore, the study has a constructivist ontological orientation and an interpretivist epistemology position.

The methodology for the study will be an abductive approach with an overall qualitative research design.

My research design is shaped around a qualitative methodologic approach, by which data was collected through interviews and questionnaires and analysed to identify key themes. I will also use these interviews to produce recommendations as to how the police and prisons can tackle the crime-terror nexus inside prisons and disseminate these to the relevant key decision makers and business leads.

Research participation

If you would like to take part in the study or have any questions about the research, please contact Hannah on hannah.bennett@research.staffs.ac.uk

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