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Report into well-being and inclusion of former politically motivated prisoners
Date:3/14/2011

The first major study of the wellbeing and inclusion of former politically motivated prisoners in Northern Ireland will be launched by Queen's University today (Monday 14 March).

Ageing and Social Exclusion among Former Politically Motivated Prisoners in Northern Ireland and the border region of Ireland investigated the well being and social and economic inclusion of loyalist and republican former prisoners (aged 50 and over) as older people in Northern Ireland. The report will be launched at Parliament Buildings at Stormont this afternoon.

The research was led by Ms Ruth Jamieson and Dr Peter Shirlow at Queen's School of Law, along with Dr Adrian Grounds of the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.

Researchers surveyed 190 former prisoners (117 republican, 26 of whom were women, and 73 loyalist), aged 50 and over, and conducted in-depth interviews with 25 of them (15 republican, three of whom were women, and 10 loyalist), in Belfast during 2008-09. The aim of the study was to investigate their wellbeing and social and economic inclusion as older people in Northern Ireland.

The study reported the following, for former politically motivated prisoners aged 50 years and over:

  • Over half of those surveyed said they had been denied employment because they have a conflict-related conviction.
  • One in four of the research participants were unemployed. The rate of unemployment for politically motivated former prisoners was over four times the unemployment rate for Northern Ireland at the time the research was conducted.
  • Less than one third of politically motivated former prisoners in this group were in full-time paid employment.
  • Politically motivated former prisoners have a far greater risk of poverty in older age than others in Northern Ireland. This is a combined effect of low pay, intermittent or insecure employment, and lack of occupational pension.
  • Politically motivated form
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Contact: Anne-Marie Clarke
anne-marie.clarke@qub.ac.uk
44-289-097-5320
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

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