Coproduction, governance and practice: the dynamics and effects of user voice prison councils

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Drawing on Bevir’s (2013) decentered theory of governance, and Donati’s (2016) theory of the relational subject, this article explores how User Voice Prison Councils in England have contributed to shifts in aspects of prison governance and practice. It discusses the cultural and policy context in which the Councils emerged and operate before exploring their perceived purposes, dynamics and effects. User Voice Prison Councils represent an important example of different actors co-producing alternative patterns of governance through innovations in democratic participation. Interviews with Prison Council participants, User Voice and Prison staff revealed that the development of such ‘bottom up’ participatory governance practices require and restore interpersonal trust, the mechanisms of which are interactions underpinned by a distinct manner of relating and the establishment of a network of relations oriented to the common good. The effects include enhanced institutional legitimacy; improvements in prison officer-prisoner relations; and greater quality of life for prisoners. Revealing the ‘how’ of coproduction, from the ‘inside’, the argument advanced here is that while the effects of coproduction may be more ameliorative than transformative, such collaborative and dialogic approaches can enable differently situated people to forge new norms of interactions and forms of democratic participation to achieve collective goals.
    LanguageEnglish
    Number of pages31
    JournalSocial Policy and Administration
    Early online date5 Sep 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Fingerprint

    coproduction
    correctional institution
    governance
    prisoner
    quality of life
    prison officer
    innovation
    participation
    common good
    interaction
    legitimacy
    effect
    staff
    interview

    Keywords

    • coproduction
    • user voice
    • governance
    • prison
    • decentered theory
    • criminal justice

    Cite this

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    title = "Coproduction, governance and practice: the dynamics and effects of user voice prison councils",
    abstract = "Drawing on Bevir’s (2013) decentered theory of governance, and Donati’s (2016) theory of the relational subject, this article explores how User Voice Prison Councils in England have contributed to shifts in aspects of prison governance and practice. It discusses the cultural and policy context in which the Councils emerged and operate before exploring their perceived purposes, dynamics and effects. User Voice Prison Councils represent an important example of different actors co-producing alternative patterns of governance through innovations in democratic participation. Interviews with Prison Council participants, User Voice and Prison staff revealed that the development of such ‘bottom up’ participatory governance practices require and restore interpersonal trust, the mechanisms of which are interactions underpinned by a distinct manner of relating and the establishment of a network of relations oriented to the common good. The effects include enhanced institutional legitimacy; improvements in prison officer-prisoner relations; and greater quality of life for prisoners. Revealing the ‘how’ of coproduction, from the ‘inside’, the argument advanced here is that while the effects of coproduction may be more ameliorative than transformative, such collaborative and dialogic approaches can enable differently situated people to forge new norms of interactions and forms of democratic participation to achieve collective goals.",
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    AB - Drawing on Bevir’s (2013) decentered theory of governance, and Donati’s (2016) theory of the relational subject, this article explores how User Voice Prison Councils in England have contributed to shifts in aspects of prison governance and practice. It discusses the cultural and policy context in which the Councils emerged and operate before exploring their perceived purposes, dynamics and effects. User Voice Prison Councils represent an important example of different actors co-producing alternative patterns of governance through innovations in democratic participation. Interviews with Prison Council participants, User Voice and Prison staff revealed that the development of such ‘bottom up’ participatory governance practices require and restore interpersonal trust, the mechanisms of which are interactions underpinned by a distinct manner of relating and the establishment of a network of relations oriented to the common good. The effects include enhanced institutional legitimacy; improvements in prison officer-prisoner relations; and greater quality of life for prisoners. Revealing the ‘how’ of coproduction, from the ‘inside’, the argument advanced here is that while the effects of coproduction may be more ameliorative than transformative, such collaborative and dialogic approaches can enable differently situated people to forge new norms of interactions and forms of democratic participation to achieve collective goals.

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