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Critical Reflections from Theory, Research and Practice

Available open access digitally under CC BY-NC-ND licence.

‘Desistance’ – understanding how people move away from offending – has become a significant policy focus in recent years, with desistance thinking transplanted from the adult to the youth justice system in England and Wales. This book is the first to critique this approach to justice-involved children, many of whom are yet to fully develop an identity (criminal or otherwise) from which to ‘desist’.

Featuring voices from academia, policy and practice, this book explores practical approaches to desistance with children in the ‘Child First’ context. It gives new insights into how children can be supported to move away from offending and proposes reforms to make a meaningful difference to children’s lives.

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Convict criminology (CC) is based on the belief that the convict’s voice has been traditionally ignored or marginalized in scholarship and policy debates, and that its inclusion can positively impact the fields of corrections, criminology, criminal justice, and policy making.

Designed for students, scholars, and activists worldwide this is the first sole-authored book to comprehensively explain the CC approach to scholarship, teaching, mentorship, and prison and criminal justice activism. It reviews the history and scholarship on this engaging field and the challenges that the approach has encountered. It features:

• exhibit boxes;

• end-of-chapter keywords;

• test questions - including multiple choice, short answer and essay format.

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The Rhythms and Routines of HMP Midtown
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The soundscape of prison life – for both inmates and staff – is that of constant clangs, bangs and jangles. What is the significance of this cacophonous din to those who live and work with it? This book tells the story of a year spent with a UK prison community, bringing its social world vividly to life for the first time through aural ethnography.

Kate Herrity’s sensory criminology challenges current thinking on how power is experienced by the imprisoned and the lasting effects of incarceration for all who spend time in these environments.

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Masculinity, Marginalization and Resistance

This book is a unique ethnographic study of a racially exclusive Malay Muslim gang, Omega, which has its roots in Singapore’s prisons and controls much of the illicit drug trade in the state. Similar to indigenous peoples elsewhere, Singapore Malays are disproportionately represented in the criminal justice system and can respond to structural marginalization and colonization through gang involvement.

In demonstrating that gang membership can be an adaptive strategy for minority groups, this book promotes a more inclusive and restorative justice model for people with repeat convictions.

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Incorporating the authentic voices and real-life experiences of women, this ground-breaking book focuses on pregnancy and new motherhood in UK prisons. The book delves critically and poignantly into the criminal justice system’s response to pregnant and new mothers, shedding light on the tragedies of stillborn babies and the deaths of traumatised mothers in prison.

Based on lived realities, it passionately argues the case for enhancing the experiences of pregnant and new mothers involved with the criminal justice system. Aiming to catalyse policy and practice, the book is key reading for criminology and midwifery students and researchers as well as policy makers and practitioners.

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Giving Back Not Giving Up

Generativity or ‘giving back’ is regarded as a common life stage, occurring for many around middle age. For the first time, this book offers qualitative research on the lives and social relationships of older imprisoned women. In-depth interviews with 29 female prisoners in the south-eastern United States show that older women both engage in generative behaviours in prison and also wish to do so upon their release.

As prisoners continue to age, the US finds itself at a crossroads on prison reform, with potential decarceration beginning with older prisoners. The COVID-19 pandemic has led many to consider how to thrive under difficult circumstances and in stressing the resilience of older incarcerated women, this book envisions what this could look like.

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This edited collection offers the first system-wide account of the impact of COVID-19 on crime and justice in England and Wales. It provides a critical discussion of the challenges faced by criminal justice agencies (prison, probation, youth justice, courts, police), professionals and service users in adapting to the extraordinary pressures of the pandemic on policy, practice and lived experience.

The text integrates first-hand narrative and artistic accounts from a variety of key stakeholders experiencing the Criminal Justice System (CJS). The editors recommend a range of evidence-based policy and practice improvements, not only in terms of planning for future pandemics, but also those that will benefit the CJS and its stakeholders in the longer term.

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Prisons Unlocked
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Understanding prisons and the policies surrounding them is of fundamental importance to students and practitioners of criminology and related fields. This concise and accessible guide offers a compendium of key information, theories, concepts, research and policy, presenting a rounded and critical overview of the prison system in England and Wales.

Covering the historical and contemporary context of prisons, the text guides the reader through prison life as experienced by different groups such as women, the work of prison officers and a tour of international prisons.

Each chapter features key learning items:

  • an overview and summary;

  • learning outcomes;

  • end of chapter questions;

  • definitions of key terms and concepts;

  • examples and illustrative case studies;

  • summary boxes of key research studies and further reading.

Focusing on the experiences of stakeholder groups and the themes of power, legitimacy and rehabilitation, the book concludes with an overview of the future challenges for prisons.

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Volume 2

Women and families within the criminal justice system (CJS) are increasingly the focus of research and this book considers the timely issues of intersectionality, violence and gender. With insights from frontline practice and from the lived experiences of women, the collection examines prison experiences in a post-COVID-19 world, domestic violence and the successes and failures of family support.

A companion to the first edited collection, Critical Reflections on Women, Family, Crime and Justice, the book sheds new light on the challenges and experiences of women and families who encounter the CJS.

Accessible to both academics and practitioners and with real-world policy recommendations, this collection demonstrates how positive change can be achieved.

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Ten percent of the world’s population lives on islands, but until now the place and space characteristics of islands in criminological theory have not been deeply considered. This book moves beyond the question of whether islands have more, or less, crime than other places, and instead addresses issues of how, and by whom, crime is defined in island settings, which crimes are policed and visible, and who is subject to regulation. These questions are informed by ‘the politics of place and belonging’ and the distinctive social networks and normative structures of island communities.

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