This book turns on the television, opens the newspaper, goes to the cinema and assesses how punishment is performed in media culture, investigating the regimes of penal representation and how they may contribute to a populist and punitive criminological imagination. It places media discourse in prisons firmly within the arena of penal policy and public opinion, suggesting that while Bad Girls, The Shawshank Redemption, internet jail cams, advertising and debates about televising executions continue to ebb and flow in contemporary culture, the persistence of this spectacle of punishment - its contested meaning and its politics of representation - demands investigation. Alongside chapters addressing the construction of popular images of prison and the death penalty in television and film, Captured by the Media also has contributions from prison reform groups and prison practitioners which discuss forms of media intervention in penal debate. This book provides a highly readable exploration of media discourse on prisons and punishment, and its relationship to public attitudes and government penal policy. At the same time it engages with the 'cultural turn' within criminology and offers an original contribution to discussion of the relationship between prison, public and the state. It will be essential reading for students in both media studies and criminology as well as practitioners and commentators in these fields.
1. Turn on, tune in, slop out, Paul Mason 2. The function of fiction for a punitive public, Anna King and Shadd Maruna 3. Red tops, populists and the irresistible rise of the public voice(s), Mick Ryan 4. Crime sound bites: a view from both sides of the microphone, Enver Solomon 5. What works in changing public attitudes: findings from rethinking crime and punishment, Rob Allen 6. Delivering death: capital punishment, botched executions and the American news media, Chris Greer 7. 'Buried alive': representations of the separate system in Victorian England, Helen Johnston 8. Undermining the simplicities: the films of Rex Bloomstein, Jamie Bennett 9. Creating a stir? Prisons, popular media and the power to reform, Yvonne Jewkes 10. The violence of images: inside the prison TV drama Oz, Brian Jarvis 11. The anti-heroines of Holloway : the prison films of Joan Henry and J. Lee Thompson, Steve Chibnall 12. Relocating Hollywood's prison film discourse, Paul Mason 13. Future punishment in American science fiction films, Mike Nellis