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You will find a complete range of our monographs, muti-authored and edited works including peer-reviewed, original scholarly research across the social sciences and aligned disciplines. We publish long and short form research and you can browse the complete Bristol University Press and Policy Press archive of over 1400 titles.
Policy Press also publishes policy reviews and polemic work which aim to challenge policy and practice in certain fields. These books have a practitioner in mind and are practical, accessible in style, as well as being academically sound and referenced.
In this ethnographic study Maria Adams turns a geographical and feminist lens on prisoners’ families.
She captures the testimonies of families as they navigate the sociological and social challenges of the imprisonment of loved ones, exploring key concepts including inequality, penal power and vulnerability. She also measures the impacts on many aspects of families’ emotions, relationships and identities, and considers the sources of support and resilience they draw on.
With original research and fresh insights, the book deepens our understanding of carceral geography and how families experience spaces, both inside prison and beyond the bars.
Michelle Peterie’s revealing research offers a fresh angle on the human costs of immigration detention.
Drawing on over 70 interviews with regular visitors to Australia’s onshore immigration detention facilities, Peterie paints a unique and vivid picture of these carceral spaces. The book contrasts the care and friendship exchanged between detainees and visitors with the isolation and despair that is generated and weaponised through institutional life. It shows how visitors become targets of institutional control, and theorises the harm detention imposes beyond the detainee.
As the first research in this area, this book bears important witness to Australia’s onshore immigration detention system, and offers internationally relevant insights on immigration, deterrence and the politics of solidarity.
Why do the UK and US disproportionately incarcerate the mentally ill, frequently poor people of color? Via multiple re-framings of the question–theological, socioeconomic, and psychological– Andrew Skotnicki diagnoses a “persecution of the prophetic” at the heart of the contemporary criminal justice system.
This interdisciplinary book draws on criminology, theology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, and psychiatric history to consider the increasingly intractable issue of mass incarceration. Inviting a new, collaborative conversation on penal reform as a fundamentally “life-affirming” project, it defends the dignity of those diagnosed as mentally unstable and their capacity for spiritual transcendence.
Accounts of female offenders’ journeys into the criminal justice system are often silenced or marginalized.
Featuring a Foreword from Pat Carlen and inspired by her seminal book ‘Criminal Women’, this collection uses participatory, inclusive and narrative methodologies to highlight the lived experiences of women involved with the criminal justice system. It presents studies focused on drug use and supply, sex work, sexual exploitation and experiences of imprisonment.
Bringing together cutting-edge feminist research, this book exposes the intersecting oppressions and social control often central to women’s experiences of the justice system and offers invaluable insights for developing penal policies that account for the needs of women.
If prison regimes had continued as normal during the COVID-19 lockdown, social distancing would have been impossible. Therefore, sweeping restrictions were imposed confining prisoners to their cells, cancelling communal activity and prohibiting visits from family and friends.
This insightful book identifies the risks posed by prison lockdowns to minority ethnic prisoners, foreign national prisoners and prisoners from Traveller and Roma communities across the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It documents the unequal impacts on their mental and physical health, feelings of isolation and fear, access to services and contact with visitors.
The legacy of the lockdown will be profound. This book exposes the long-term significance and impact on minority ethnic prisoners.
How do governments and societies use prison to respond to underlying and fundamental social, economic and political issues?
Using data on world imprisonment and numerous international examples from his personal experience, Coyle, a prison practitioner, academic and international expert, discusses the failings of prison around the world.
Acknowledging the influence of external agencies, such as the Committee for the Prevention of Torture, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and court interventions in the use of solitary confinement, he offers some positive pointers for the future and how there might be a better distribution of resources between criminal justice and social justice by an application of the principles of Justice Reinvestment.
We now live in a pre-crime society, in which information technology strategies and techniques such as predictive policing, actuarial justice and surveillance penology are used to achieve hyper-securitization.
However, such securitization comes at a cost – the criminalization of everyday life is guaranteed, justice functions as an algorithmic industry and punishment is administered through dataveillance regimes.
This pioneering book explores relevant theories, developing technologies and institutional practices and explains how the pre-crime society operates in the ‘ultramodern’ age of digital reality construction. Reviewing pre-crime's cultural and political effects, the authors propose new directions in crime control policy.
Long-term prisoners need to be given the space to reflect, and grow. This ground-breaking study found that engaging prisoners in philosophy education enabled them to think about some of the ‘big’ questions in life and as a result to see themselves and others differently.
Using the prisoners’ own words, Szifris shows the importance of this type of education for growth and development. She demonstrates how the philosophical dialogue led to a form of community which provided a space for self-reflection, pro-social interaction and communal exploration of ideas, which could have long-term positive consequences.
Drawing on original research from the Women, Family, Crime and Justice research network, this edited collection sheds new light on the challenges and experiences of women and families who encounter the criminal justice system in the UK.
Each contribution demonstrates how these groups are often ignored, oppressed and repeatedly victimised. The book addresses crucial issues including short-term imprisonment, trauma-specific interventions, schools supporting children affected by parental imprisonment and visibility and voice in research.
Bringing together contemporary knowledge from both research and practice, this ambitious volume offers valuable insights and practical recommendations for positive action and change.
In this enlightening study, Ian Cummins traces changing attitudes to penal and welfare systems.
From Margaret Thatcher’s first cabinet, to austerity politics via New Labour, the book reveals the ideological shifts that have led successive governments to reinforce their penal powers. It shows how ‘tough on crime’ messages have spread to other areas of social policy, fostering the neoliberal political economy, encouraging hostile approaches to the social state and creating stigma for those living in poverty.
This is an important addition to the debate around the complex and interconnected issues of welfare and punishment.