Sport in a youth prison: male young offenders' experiences of a sporting intervention

Parker, Andrew ORCID: 0000-0001-6842-3067, Meek, Rosie and Lewis, Gwen (2014) Sport in a youth prison: male young offenders' experiences of a sporting intervention. Journal of Youth Studies, 17 (3). pp. 381-396. doi:10.1080/13676261.2013.830699

Text (Peer reviewed version)
Sport in a Youth Prison.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License All Rights Reserved.

Download (543kB) | Preview


The numbers of children under the age of 18 being incarcerated in England and Wales has decreased of late, with official figures indicating that the current population of just over 1500 has halved during the last decade. But levels of reoffending among children released from prison remain the highest, with three out of four young people being reconvicted within one year of release from juvenile custody. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of community-based sports projects target children and young people, when it comes to incarcerated populations, sporting initiatives are less prevalent. Where sport has become well established as a useful social cohesion/inclusion strategy in community settings, some of these approaches have been translated into custodial settings. Resulting research has often proclaimed sporting pursuits as a modern-day panacea in terms of their social, psychological and emotional benefits, yet few studies have explored the nuances of sports-based interventions within secure settings. This paper comprises a small-scale, qualitative study of one such intervention in a Young Offender Institution in the South of England. Placing respondent accounts at the centre of the analysis, the paper sheds light on the practicalities of programme delivery by uncovering the motivating factors behind participant engagement whilst exploring broader notions of personal development. The paper concludes by highlighting that sport/physical activity can confer significant psychosocial benefits and promote the rehabilitation of young people leaving custody, particularly when integrated into wider programmes of support and provision.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Journal of Youth Studies on 13 September 2013, available online:
Uncontrolled Keywords: REF2014 Submission. sport, physical activity, young offenders, prison, qualitative research
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV557 Sports
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Education and Science
Research Priority Areas: Health, Life Sciences, Sport and Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 09 Feb 2015 11:04
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2023 09:10

University Staff: Request a correction | Repository Editors: Update this record

University Of Gloucestershire

Bookmark and Share

Find Us On Social Media:

Social Media Icons Facebook Twitter Google+ YouTube Pinterest Linkedin

Other University Web Sites

University of Gloucestershire, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL50 2RH. Telephone +44 (0)844 8010001.