Emotional Labour in Criminal Justice and Criminology  book cover
1st Edition

Emotional Labour in Criminal Justice and Criminology

ISBN 9780367152017
Published July 22, 2020 by Routledge
280 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book is the first volume to explore criminal justice work and criminological research through the lens of emotional labour. A concept first coined 30 years ago, emotional labour seeks to explore the ways in which people manage their emotions in order to achieve the aims of their organisations, and the subsequent impact of this is on workers and service users.

The chapters in this edited collection explore work in a wide range of criminal justice institutions as well as the penal voluntary sector. In addition to literature review chapters which consolidate what we already know, this book includes case study chapters which extend our knowledge of how emotional labour is performed in specific contexts, and in relation to certain types of work. Emotional Labour in Criminal Justice and Criminology covers topics such as prisoners who die from natural causes in prison, to the work of independent domestic violence advisors and the use of emotion by death penalty lawyers in the US.

An accessible and compelling read, this book presents ground-breaking qualitative and quantitative research which will be critical to criminologists, criminal justice practitioners, students of criminology and academics in the fields of social policy and public service.

Table of Contents


List of tables

List of contributors



Part One

  1. Introduction: why study emotional labour in criminal justice and criminology?
  2. Jake Phillips, Chalen Westaby, Andrew Fowler and Jaime Waters

  3. Emotional Labour in Policing
  4. Alex Black and Karen Lumsden

  5. Emotional labour in the Legal Profession
  6. Chalen Westaby and Andrea Subrayan

  7. Emotions in context: the marginalisation and persistence of emotional labour in probation Andrew Fowler, Jake Phillips and Chalen Westaby.
  8. The Emotional Labour of Prison Work
  9. Per Åke Nylander and Anders Bruhn

  10. Emotional Labour in the Penal Voluntary Sector
  11. Kaitlyn Quinn and Philippa Tomczak

  12. Doing criminological research: an emotional labour perspective
  13. Jaime Waters, Chalen Westaby, Andrew Fowler and Jake Phillips

    Part Two

  14. Prison officers: emotional labour and dying prisoners
  15. Carol Robinson

  16. Gendering Emotional Labour: Independent Domestic Violence Advisors
  17. Marian Duggan

  18. "And you didn’t tell them that they were getting robbed!?" Emotional Labour, Ethnography and Danger
  19. Anthony Ellis

  20. Emotions at the prevention end of youth justice
  21. Anne Robinson

  22. Emotional Labour, Cooling the Client Out and Lawyer Face
  23. Lisa Flower

  24. Hidden in Plain Sight: Contrasting Emotional Labour and Burnout in Civilian and Sworn Law Enforcement Employees
  25. Ian T. Adams and Sharon Mastracci

  26. Whom to punish? - Street-level dilemmas within the Swedish Border Police
  27. Lisa Marie Borrelli

  28. The emotional labour of prison Listeners
  29. Sarah Nixon

  30. Perspectives on the emotional labour of Special Constables
  31. Laura Knight and Iain Britton

  32. Anger and The Emotional Culture Of Death Penalty Defense Lawyers
  33. Matthew John-William Greife, Mark Pogrebin and Sarah Goodrum

  34. Conclusion: What do we now know about emotional labour in criminal justice? Culture, context and conflict

Jake Phillips, Chalen Westaby, Andrew Fowler and Jaime Waters


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Jake Phillips is Reader in Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University. His research is primarily focused on the intersection between policy and practice in the field of probation and community sanctions. In recent years he has conducted research on the emotional labour of probation practice, people who die whilst under probation supervision and the impact of inspection and regulation on probation policy and practice.

Chalen Westaby is a Senior Lecturer in law at Sheffield Hallam University. She has published primarily in the field of emotional labour. Her empirical qualitative research has focussed on legal professionals, law students and most recently, probation officers and criminological researchers. She has also undertaken research into emotion in the legal profession, particularly focussing on empathy and its role within professional practice.

Andrew Fowler is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University. As a former probation officer and practice tutor assessor he also teaches on the Professional Qualification in Probation and the undergraduate criminology programme. He has published work centering on emotional labour in probation practice. Andrew is currently undertaking research into the Skills for Effective Engagement Development Supervision model (SEEDS) for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS).

Jaime Waters is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Fellow of the Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies at Sheffield Hallam University. Her main research interests include illegal drug use, gambling, and emotional labour. She is co-author of Illegal Drug Use Through the Lifecourse and Mixed Methods in Criminology (both with Routledge), and editor of the special issue ‘Entering the field of criminological research’ in the British Journal of Community Justice.


The Editors of Emotional Labour in Criminal Justice and Criminology are to be congratulated for bringing together an important and innovative collection of essays that will give all researchers conducting empirical studies in criminology pause for thought about their own emotional labour, as well as that performed by professionals in the criminal justice sector. Foregrounding culture, context and conflict, this book is a must-read for anyone interested in the ethical and emotional dimensions of qualitative methodologies and criminal justice.

Yvonne Jewkes, Professor of Criminology, University of Bath

Emotional Labour in Criminal Justice and Criminology brings the topic of emotion work to a range of professions across the criminal justice spectrum. Focussed and in-depth studies deepen our understanding of the multi-faceted experiences, displays and management of emotion in criminal justice work. The book provides criminal justice practitioners, scholars and policy makers with rigorous empirical evidence on the inter-personal and organisational contexts of emotional labour. 

Sharyn Roach Anleu, Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor, Flinders University