Research

 

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 1,500 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.
 

Books: Research

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  • Crime and Society x
  • Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions x
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Secrets and Disclosure in the Undercover Policing Inquiry

The ‘spycops’ scandal has laid bare the existence of secretive police units that sent undercover police officers to infiltrate and undermine hundreds of political campaigns and activist groups.

This is the first academic analysis of the activists’ experiences and their attempts to find answers and accountability in the Undercover Policing Inquiry. Written from the perspective of the ‘policed’, the author draws on extensive fieldwork and his first-hand experience of police infiltration through his participation in climate campaigns.

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The use of a rape victim’s sexual history as evidence attracted intense public attention after the acquittal of footballer Ched Evans in 2017. Set within the context of a criminal justice system widely perceived to be failing rape victims, the use of sexual history evidence remains a flashpoint of contention around rape law reform.

This accessible book mounts an important interrogation into the use of a victim’s sexual history as evidence in rape trials. Adopting a critical multidisciplinary perspective underpinned by feminist theory, the authors explore the role and significance of sexual history evidence in criminal justice responses to rape.

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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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An International Insurrection
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In western liberal democracies the police are viewed as guardians of public safety and enforcers of the law. How accurate is this? Given police violence and the failure of many attempts at reform, attention has turned to other models of managing criminality, including defunding the police and instead funding alternatives to criminalization and incarceration.

This book is the first comprehensive overview of police divestment, using international examples and case studies to reimagine community safety beyond policing and imprisonment.

Showcasing a range of practical examples, this topical book will be relevant for academics, policy makers, activists and all those interested in the Black Lives Matter movement, protest movements and the renewed interest in policing and abolitionism more generally.

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Transcending Definitions of Torture

There is growing recognition that torture is too narrowly defined in law, and that psychological and/or sexualised violence against women is not adequately recognised as torture.

Clearly defining torturous violence, this book offers scholars and practitioners critical reflections on how torture is defined, and the implications that narrow definitions may have on survivors. Drawing on over a decade of research and interviews with psychologists, practitioners, and women seeking asylum, it sets out the implications of the social silencing of torture, and torturous violence specifically. It invites us to consider alternative ways to understand and address the impacts of physical, sexualised and psychological abuses.

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Perspectives From Wales on a System in Crisis

Austerity continues to impact the criminal justice process in England and Wales: police numbers are down, the Crown Prosecution Service is in disarray, legal aid has been reduced, courts are closing and magistrates are leaving.

Research into the criminal process usually focuses on England, however this book offers a rare insight into South Wales. Drawing on first-hand accounts of lawyers, police, suspects, and the convicted and their families, it uncovers how these affected individuals navigate the challenges caused by austerity, what has changed and what can be done to improve the system.

This book is a reliable and evocative account of the reality of criminal justice in Wales.

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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.

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Trust, Legitimacy and Authority
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Renowned criminologist Mike Hough illuminates the principles and practices of good policing in this important analysis of the police service’s legitimacy and the factors, such as public trust, that drive it.

As concern grows at the growth in crimes of serious violence, he challenges conventional political and public thinking on crime and scrutinises strategies and tactics like deterrence and stop-and-search. Contrasting ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ approaches to policing and punishment, he offers a fresh perspective that stresses the importance of securing normative compliance.

For officers, students, policy makers and anyone who has an interest in the police force, this is a valuable roadmap for ethical policing.

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