Source: (2004) Cambrian Law Review. 35: 97-114.

This article will examine the thesis that Northern Ireland experiences a relatively low level of crime. It will explore the possible reasons why crime in the North has not witnessed a dramatic increase. In light of this, the article will highlight the difficulties surrounding the current prison system and illustrate that once again Northern Ireland is experiencing a very different criminal justice system in comparison to Great Britain. Although the prisons are now being used predominately to deal with “ordinary’ crimeâ€?, they are still part of the political process. This article will consider the proposition that recent demands by prisoner for political “separationâ€? have overshadowed Northern Ireland’s “crime consciousnessâ€? and the prison authorities have not moved towards a stance of “populist punitivenessâ€?, particularly when the prison regime is being politicised because of the ongoing difficulties surrounding the peace process in Northern Ireland. Author's abstract.