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Following the armed conflict in the former Yugoslavia, a new criminology of war developed, producing fresh insights and opening up original research streams. The incorporation of war within the remit of criminological analysis, advocated by classical as well as critical criminology, rapidly gained new momentum. The focus on asymmetrical conflicts and invasions unveiled the massive killing of civilians, bringing war into the arena of victimology. Moreover, the examination of the material forces that drive international conflicts situated such conflicts among the violent predatory offences that concern most criminological theories. The study of ‘war crimes’, ultimately, led some authors to shift attention towards ‘war as crime’. After briefly summarising the developments that shaped a criminology of war, this paper attempts further analytical steps towards the formulation of a criminology against war. A critique of the concept of ‘just wars’ is followed by the examination of the ambiguities that cloud the notions of jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Current legal provisions regulating international conflict are described as blank norms, while principles of peacebuilding are finally pinpointed.

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This article synthesises literature on the evolution of domestic abuse (DA) refuges, with particular attention to the development of two models: the conventional or ‘underground’ refuge (UR) and the open or ‘Dutch’ refuge. The article will detail what the available evidence says about the benefits and drawbacks of these models and explore their implications for the DA sector in England, with reference to extending women’s space for action and meeting the needs of underserved victim-survivors.

The article argues that multiple models of provision are needed to meet the intersecting, complex and at times competing needs of different victim-survivors, and that available evidence provides preliminary support for the viability of the open model as part of a wider suite of responses to DA. Further research is needed to extend the evidence base on the open model, and to develop a whole system approach which can meet the needs of a wider range of victim-survivors.

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This chapter focuses on the birth of the prison starting with an exploration of what punishment was in the 18th century before prisons were established. There is a brief discussion of transportation, the punishments that were used to inflict pain and the public spectacle of punishment – the death penalty. The chapter moves on to discuss what Foucault (1977) called the punishment of the soul and the centralisation of imprisonment as the main method of punishment. It presents the work of the Victorians, who are credited with the invention of the modern prison, using a series of examples to illustrate the shifts in approaches to punishment. There is also a discussion of early prison reformers, namely John Howard and Elizabeth Fry, as a way of introducing the notion that the current problems faced by prisons are not new but have been ingrained in their very fabric from their creation.

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This chapter focuses on those who work within the prison environment. It presents relevant statistics and data to explore who works in prisons. The chapter also focuses on the role of a prison governor and issues regarding prison management before focusing on the prison officer. The role of the prison officer will be broken down to answer the following questions: what do they do; how do they do it; what training and education do they get; what is the impact of working in the environment on a prison officer and what makes a good prison officer? The chapter discusses the notion of prison officer culture and the challenges officers face during their work. The focus of the chapter is deliberately on those with prisoner-facing roles but it provides an overview of who else works in a prison, the management structure and some key differences in working in public and/or private prisons.

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The focus of this chapter is to think critically about specific groups in the prison system and how they experience prison differently. While this is not an exhaustive exploration of all the different groups who are recognised under diversity legislation, the focus is on three specific groups to show how, depending on factors that include age, gender, race and ethnicity, individuals experience prison differently. Each of these groups is interesting to explore for different reasons. This chapter will outline how these groups experience prison differently and discuss, critically, the extent to which the prison system caters for and meets the needs of different prisoner populations.

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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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This chapter focuses on the theory behind what makes people stop offending, the concept of ‘desistance’. The key elements of desistance theory and how prison can either help or hinder that process will be discussed. The processes of release, resettlement and recall will be explored with a focus on the legislative framework that enables them to take place accompanied by a discussion of some of the practical challenges faced in their undertaking. This will include a brief discussion of the Parole Board, a much under-explored area of the CJS. The chapter also introduces the challenging notion of assessing whether prison works and how we might go about evaluating this. It explores different ways of assessing whether prison works or not, including a discussion of reoffending rates and recidivism.

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This chapter describes what is meant by prisons and imprisonment. It introduces the term penology and how taking a multidisciplinary approach to examining penal sanctions for people who break the law specifically through the lens of imprisonment can help us understand broader trajectories in punishments and the philosophies and policies that surround it. The key organising principles of the book are explained and concepts relating to understanding penology will be described, specifically power, legitimacy and rehabilitation.

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This chapter will introduce what life in prison is like. There will be an exploration of what exactly prisoners do while ‘doing time’; such an exploration is important if we are to explore whether the prison system is working and meeting its aim of ‘helping prisoners lead law abiding and useful lives’ (HMPPS, 2021a). This chapter provides a snapshot of the routine nature of life in custody via an exploration of prison regimes. It explores the different types of activity offered to prisoners, such as work, education and training and provides examples of innovative practice across the prison estate. How prisoners are rewarded for good behaviour and engagement with these activities is discussed. The chapter also explores the healthcare systems within prison and discusses the challenges of accessing such support both from a physical and mental perspective. An exploration of how individuals practise their religion and/or faith is provided as well as a look at what prisoners do in prison during their free time. The chapter also explores some of the more negative aspects of prison life including the issues of radicalisation and extremism, and punishment for non-compliance with the rules.

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