This book explores practical examples of co-production in criminal justice research and practice. Through a series of seven case studies, the authors examine what people do when they co-produce knowledge in criminal justice contexts: in prisons and youth detention centres; with criminalised women; from practitioners’ perspectives; and with First Nations communities.
Co-production holds a promise: that people whose lives are entangled in the criminal justice system can be valued as participants and partners, helping to shape how the system works. But how realistic is it to imagine criminal justice "service users" participating, partnering, and sharing genuine decision-making power with those explicitly holding power over them?
Taking a sophisticated yet accessible theoretical approach, the authors consider issues of power, hierarchy, and different ways of knowing to understand the perils and possibilities of co-production under the shadow of "justice". In exploring these complexities, this book brings cautious optimism to co-production partners and project leaders. The book provides a foundational text for scholars and practitioners seeking to apply co-production principles in their research and practice. With stories from Australia, the United Kingdom, and Ireland, the text will appeal to the international community. For students of criminology and social work, the book’s critical insights will enhance their work in the field.
Despite increasing recognition of the need for, and potential of, coproduction in justice contexts, it remains under-explored in theory, research and practice. This trailblazing book represents an important corrective by exploring ideas of what coproduction means, looks like and feels like in criminal justice, drawing on real-world case studies of coproducing with different groups and in different penal settings. In so doing, it gets at the complicated whole-greater-than part qualities of what coproduction, in its various guises, can mean; of what people can do when they come together to coproduce knowledge, practice and justice; and of the potentials and possibilities, and challenges and constraints, of coproduction in criminal justice contexts. This will be essential reading for academics, students and practitioners with an interest in this area.
Beth Weaver, Professor of Criminal and Social Justice, University of Strathclyde.
Co-production is increasingly promoted as a potential remedy in the design of a more humane justice system. This impressive book captures an array of pitfalls and benefits around involving experts-by-experience in the design and delivery of services. The authors skilfully distil learning from case studies and the wider evidence-base using a framework that drives valuable insights around the key themes of time, space and identity. This book will rightly leave people working in criminal justice settings feeling conflicted about how, where and when to do co-production, but also more optimistic about its transformative potential.
Jason Morris, Chartered Psychologist.
In justice advocacy, activism and service delivery, there are regularly calls to listen to, and incorporate the voices and expertise of those with lived experience of incarceration. However, such appeals are often chronically under-specified. Part of the strength of this extraordinary book is that it offers a variety of road-maps and ways of responding, without the demand of a one-size-fits-all approach. It interrogates the complex power dynamics of co-production alongside offering practical case-studies of how this might operate. This is an incredibly valuable resource for practitioners, advocates and all others who are interested in the process and practice of bringing about criminal justice system change.
Dr Mindy Sotiri, Executive Director, Justice Reform Initiative, Australia
This excellent book draws on informative case studies and generative theory to illuminate the multiplicity and complexity of ‘co-production’ in criminal justice. As interest in co-production continues to grow, the authors' critical yet constructive analysis of its possibilities and constraints is incredibly timely and important. While the book is focussed on criminal justice, the insights generated will undoubtedly resonate in other contexts too. I’d highly recommend this thought provoking and instructive contribution to anyone interested in co-production in criminal justice (and beyond).
Dr Michael Savic, Senior Research Fellow (Addiction Studies), Monash University, Strategic Lead of Clinical & Social Research, Turning Point addiction research and education centre, Victoria, Australia.
With increased interest in using people with lived experience as an approach to inform and influence policy and practice in the criminal justice arena, this excellent book critically discusses the practicalities and challenging nature of co-production work. The authors eloquently lay out the many processes involving people with lived experience in justice settings through the systematic tensions of power relations to the beneficial collaborative nature of this practice. […] As someone who has first-hand experience of criminal justice systems and harnesses the lived experience "ex-offender" label, I found this book an informative and insightful read into the area of co-production. […] It delves into the real-life encounters with key stakeholders with a range of unique perspectives that eloquently describe individual and collective challenges with a specific aim of understanding the power relations that take place in the collaborative process. […] Overall, this book provides an important starting point to understanding the voices of people with lived experience of the criminal justice system.
Rob Ferguson, PhD student at the University of Nottingham researching co-production in collaboration with Her Majesty’s Probation Inspectorate.