chapter  2
Political protest in prison
BySusan Easton
Pages 45

This chapter considers the prison as a site of political protest. Prisoners' unions are organisations or action groups of prisoners who act together to improve their situation and may campaign on issues relating to prison conditions, but may also act as trades unions, protecting the rights of prison employees. They are found in a number of states, but in the UK, an early example of a prisoners' union is Preservation of the Rights of Prisoners (PROP), which was active in the early 1970s. Another common extreme response to conditions of imprisonment is the prison riot. Prison riots are primarily associated with male prisoners and occur mostly in men's prisons. Prison resistance, including rioting, is a gendered phenomenon. The Report of the Prison Inspectorate in 2014 noted that there had been more incidents of prisoners going onto the netting, in the hope that they would be placed on segregation and then shipped out to prisons with better conditions or nearer home.