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Permanent link (DOI): https://doi.org/10.7939/R3WD3QF6M

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Unlocking Radicalization: Correctional Officers, Risk Perception, and Ideological Extremism in Albertan Prisons Open Access

Descriptions

Other title
Subject/Keyword
Correctional Officers
Risk
Radicalization
Insider-Outsider Research
Type of item
Thesis
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Schultz, William J
Supervisor and department
Bucerius, Sandra (Department of Sociology
Examining committee member and department
Haggerty, Kevin (Department of Sociology)
Mahdavi, Mojtaba (Department of Political Science)
Department
Department of Sociology
Specialization

Date accepted
2017-09-18T10:36:36Z
Graduation date
2017-11:Fall 2017
Degree
Master of Arts
Degree level
Master's
Abstract
A wide range of sources have framed radicalization into violent extremism as a serious risk to prisons in Europe and North America. Some view prisons as a primary recruiting ground for groups like ISIS. I investigated whether this was accurate in Alberta by conducting semi-structured interviews with 43 correctional officers in three Alberta prisons. I asked three questions: 1. Do correctional officers observe what they perceive as radicalization among their inmate populations? 2. How do correctional officers perceive and govern the risks associated with ‘radical’ inmates? 3. What influence does an insider/outsider role play in shaping prison research? I found nothing to suggest active radical activity within my research sites, suggesting prison radicalization is largely an irrelevant threat in the Albertan Context. However, I also discovered that officers have (in many cases) unconsciously redefined the meaning of “radicalization,” and have applied the label onto inmates who are resistant to officer control, rather than members of ideologically violent radical groups. I explore this at length using Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society hypothesis. Finally, I discovered my status as a former correctional officer played a strong role in casting me as an “Insider/Outsider” researcher, something which deeply shaped my research experience and impacted the data I was able to gather.
Language
English
DOI
doi:10.7939/R3WD3QF6M
Rights
This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for the purpose of private, scholarly or scientific research. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
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