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Making Waves Behind BarsThe Prison Radio Association$
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Charlotte Bedford

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781529203363

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529203363.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Making Waves Behind Bars

Charlotte Bedford

Policy Press

This introductory chapter discusses the process through which relatively small-scale media activism, based on prisoners' rights, came to be an intrinsic part of prison culture in the UK, playing a central role in institutional operations. It considers prison radio growth within the context of political and economic change, and argues that the successful development of an independent, prisoner-led service represents resistance against the forces of corporatisation and managerialism that have redefined the organisation and function of broadcasting, punishment, and social welfare. Against a backdrop of public service privatisation and media commercialisation, the growth of the Prison Radio Association (PRA) illustrates the complex processes of working in partnership with institutions and agencies to give a voice to people in prison.

Keywords:   prison radio, PRA, media activism, prison culture, broadcasting, social welfare, media commercialisation, Prison Radio Association

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