Prison drugs policy since 1980: shifting agendas and policy networks

Duke, Karen L. ORCID logoORCID: (2000) Prison drugs policy since 1980: shifting agendas and policy networks. Drugs: education, prevention, and policy, 7 (4) . pp. 393-408. ISSN 0968-7637 [Article]


The 'problems' of drugs and drug users in prisons have become key political and policy concerns in many countries. In Britain, interest in these issues has culminated in various policy initiatives. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with key players in the policy process and an analysis of documentary materials, this article explores the historical shifts within prison drugs policy, locates these changes within a wider policy context, and assesses the role and influence of policy networks in this development. Since 1980, prison drugs policy can be divided into four main phases of development which have hinged upon complex patterns of conflict, contradiction and convergence between 'treatment' and 'punishment'. Throughout the phases, particular 'policy networks' have evolved around drug-related issues within prisons, expanding and becoming more complex in their structure and operation over time. The role of these networks in relation to setting the policy agenda and responding to it has shifted over the various phases. Their power lies in their attempts to contain, balance and negotiate the key contradiction between 'treatment' and 'punishment' within prison drugs policy.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
ISI Impact: 2
Item ID: 2758
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Depositing User: Devika Mohan
Date Deposited: 28 Aug 2009 13:26
Last Modified: 23 Jun 2022 10:48

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