e-Prisons and New Technologies: ICT as a Mechanism of Social Inclusion of Prisoners

e-Prisons and New Technologies: ICT as a Mechanism of Social Inclusion of Prisoners

María Barreiro-Gen (Department of Economic Analysis and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain), Isabel Novo-Corti (Department of Economic Analysis and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain) and Laura Varela-Candamio (Department of Economic Analysis and Business Administration, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of A Coruña, A Coruña, Spain)
Copyright: © 2013 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/ijksr.2013070101
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Abstract

The development of new technologies of information and communication (ICT) is creating a new group at risk of social exclusion: digital illiterates. This factor can be accumulated with other causes of exclusion, greatly complicating the full social inclusion. This is the case of a significant part of the prison population group in which the authors focused their study. The authors’ work presents a quantitative study on the prison population in Galicia (Spain). The authors have analyzed their knowledge and attitudes toward learning to use new technologies, concluding that it would be necessary to implement courses to help familiarize this group with the use of computers, since most do not have much knowledge in this area, to prevent isolation of the “communication society”.
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1. Introduction

Advanced societies have opted for sustainable social development, which implies that all groups have a place in society. For such a society is fair, livable and conducive to coexistence frameworks appropriate to the nature of quality of life, it is necessary that all citizens have the ability to function and have discretion over their lives. A society with ghettos or groups without their own space will hardly achieve those levels of development needed for its survival over time.

The changes that occur today are becoming more rapid as the constant movement of people from one country to another, as a result of globalization. If societies are not flexible and tolerant enough, situations where there is a risk of exclusion will soon arise, as shown in Figure 1 (Sen, 2000).

Figure 1.

Generation of multiple exclusion risk for foreigner prisoners

Currently, not all individuals are fully integrated, exist a number of groups to which they are not allowed the full inclusion, resulting in social exclusion. This is the case of people with disabilities, immigrants or the former prisoners (Ribas, Almeda & Bodelón, 2005). The accumulation of several of these causes, for example, being a woman and a former inmate, is falling into a situation of multiple exclusion, complicating more the achievement of full inclusion. They encounter greater difficulties, for example, to enter the labor market (Apel & Sweeten 2010). The fight against social exclusion in general, and multiple exclusion, in particular, must become a primary objective (Silver, 1995).

Social inclusion is a topic of interest today in all areas.

In fact, internationally, the UN has included in the Millennium Development Goals of poverty eradication, as well as other issues such as gender equality, children and education, matters directly related to social inclusion (United Nations, 2000).

The European Union has developed a set of guidelines aimed at the achievement of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, known as “Europe 2020: Integrated Guidelines.” Inclusion is one of the guidelines. Guideline 10 refers to the promotion of social inclusion and the eradication of poverty. It aims to promote, among other things, social cohesion and participation in the labor market to achieve the objectives of the inclusion guideline (COM, 2010).

In the Member States of the European Union, action plans have been developed to promote social cohesion based on a European Union mandate. In 2008 the National Action Plan for Social Inclusion of the Kingdom of Spain was proposed in Spain for the period from 2008 to 2010 (Ministry of Education, Social Policy and Sport, 2008). The plan makes a priority of promoting access to employment as a mechanism for achieving social inclusion. Yet Spain is not the only country that makes a point of the employment issue. Other European countries such as England have followed suit often by working with state psychologists to promote this means of social inclusion.

Social inclusion is based on three essential pillars namely family and society, labor and education-training (Subirats, Gomá, & Brugué, 2005). Society must work in these three levels toward full inclusion.

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