1st Edition

Justice and Penal Reform Re-shaping the Penal Landscape

    234 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, Western societies entered a climate of austerity which has limited the penal expansion experienced in the US, UK and elsewhere over recent decades. These altered conditions have led to introspection and new thinking on punishment even among those on the political right who were previously champions of the punitive turn. This volume brings together a group of international leading scholars with a shared interest in using this opportunity to encourage new avenues of reform in the penal sphere.

    Justice is a famously contested concept and this book takes a deliberately capacious approach to the question of how justice can be mobilised to inform new reform agendas. Some of the contributors revisit an antique question in penal theory and reconsider the question of what fair or just punishment should look like today. Others seek to make gender central to understanding of crime and punishment, or actively reflect on the part that related concepts such as human rights, legitimacy and trust can and should play in thinking about the creation of more just crime control arrangements.

    Faced with the expansive penal developments of recent decades, much research and commentary about crime control has been gloom-laden and dystopian. By contrast, this volume seeks to contribute to a more constructive sensibility in the social analysis of penality: one that is worldly, hopeful and actively engaged in thinking about how to create more just penal arrangements.

    Justice and Penal Reform is a key resource for academics and as a supplementary text for students undertaking courses on punishment, penology, prisons, criminal justice and public policy. This book approaches penal reform from an international perspective and offers a fresh and diverse approach within an established field.

    Introduction: Re-shaping the Penal Landscape (Stephen Farrall, Barry Goldson, Ian Loader and Anita Dockley)

    1. From Bad to Worse: Crime, Incarceration and the Self-Wounding of Society (Jonathan Jacobs)

    2. Punishment, Suffering, and Justice (Matt Matravers)

    3. Punishment Legitimacy and the Role of the State: Reimagining More Moderate Penal Policies (Sonja Snacken)

    4. What Good is Punishment? (Fergus McNeill)

    5. Civic Repair and Penal Reform: The Role of the State in Rebuilding Trust (Vanessa Barker)

    6. Crime, Justice and ‘The Man Question’ (Ann Oakley)

    7. Rights, Justice and Single-mindedness (Thérèse Murphy and Noel Whitty)

    8. Examining Imprisonment through a Social Justice Lens (Ruth Armstrong and Shadd Maruna)

    9. Democracy (Re)imagined: Some Proposals for Democratic Policing (Elizabeth Turner)

    10. Participatory Innovation in Criminal Justice: Why, How, and How Far? (Albert W. Dzur)

    11. Afterword: Justice in Modernity (Nils Christie)

    12. About the Howard League for Penal Reform


    Stephen Farrall is Professor of Criminology at the School of Law, University of Sheffield.

    Barry Goldson holds the Charles Booth Chair of Social Science at the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology, University of Liverpool.

    Ian Loader is Professor of Criminology at the Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford.

    Anita Dockley is Research Director at the Howard League for Penal Reform.

    "It is absolutely clear that a fundamental rethinking of our apparatus of justice is needed today, and urgently so. It must begin with deep reflection on our values and our beliefs about governing. This collection of essays offers the best starting place I have seen for the work in front of us. Read it. Use it."

    Todd R. Clear, Distinguished Professor, School of Criminal Justice, Rutgers University-Newark, USA

    "An impressive list of contributors who seek to make sense of the latest penal developments, transcending the narrow confines of the penal system, and moving beyond the habitual pessimism that invades us all."

    Elena Larrauri, Professor of Criminal Law and Criminology, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

    "Not since the early 1960s has a generation had a better opportunity to reshape the very premises of the penal enterprise and now on a global basis. New ways of thinking about justice are critical even more than a better empirical basis for making policy."

    Jonathan S. Simon, Adrian A. Kragen Professor of Law and Director of the Center for the Study of Law and Society, Berkeley Law, University of California, USA

    "Justice and Penal Reform is an uncommonly useful and inspiring book… every one of its ten chapters casts new light on old problems in new ways. Schools of criminal justice—both the theoretical and brick-and-mortar varieties—must avoid complacency and guard against the kind of self-imposed ‘‘bounded rationality’’ renders its members vulnerable to the misconception that criminal justice can ever be rendered, understood, reformed, or transformed solely by reference to its own components. This book hammers home that point while offering the reader glimpses of more just, and more criminologically vibrant, futures. It has the potential to move criminology out of the doldrums of static critique and deserves the largest possible readership."

    David A Green, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The City University of New York, USA, Punishment and Society