This dissertation addresses the research question “Should prisoners have procreative freedom?”. Its aim is to acquire a better understanding of where public opinion stands on this matter currently given that since 2011 there have been no material legal developments, limited additional academic research and media coverage and public debate has been sporadic and event driven.
In order to gauge current public opinion, non-random convenience sampling and a structured attitudinal survey have been used. The results of the survey, which consisted predominantly of standardised and structured quantitative data, have been analysed and presented using a variety of statistical techniques.
The survey results demonstrate that there is currently little public support for prisoners’ procreative freedom, providing a clear answer to the research question and supporting previous academic research and the government’s current restrictive approach. This public perception is based on a desire for strong law and order and a belief that such does not impinge on prisoners’ human rights.
Whilst public opinion remains as it is, there is little incentive for the government to change their current restrictive approach. To achieve this there is a requirement for greater public education, additional research regarding rehabilitate benefits and further reform of existing penal policy.
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