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Preview: British Journal of Criminology - current issue

The British Journal of Criminology Current Issue

Published: Wed, 03 May 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2017 05:51:16 GMT


The Radzinowicz Memorial Prize


The Radzinowicz Memorial Prize is awarded by The British Journal of Criminology for the article published each year which, in the opinion of the editors, most contributes to the knowledge of criminal justice and criminal justice issues.

23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement. By K. Reiter (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016, 302pp. $32.50)


23/7: Pelican Bay Prison and the Rise of Long-term Solitary Confinement. By ReiterK. (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2016, 302pp. $32.50)

Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion. By J. Schept (New York, NY: New York University Press, 2015, 320pp. $27 pb)


Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion. By ScheptJ. (New York, NY: New York University Press, 2015, 320pp. $27 pb)

Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala. By Kirsten Weld (Duke University Press, 2014, 352pp. $26.95 pbk)


Paper Cadavers: The Archives of Dictatorship in Guatemala. By WeldKirsten (Duke University Press, 2014, 352pp. $26.95 pbk)

We Are Going To Prove We Are A Civil and Developed Country: The Cultural Performance of Police Legitimacy and Empire in the Iraqi State


Possessing a monopoly on the legitimate use of force, police are central to the establishment of state legitimacy, especially in a nation experiencing a radical reconstruction. Employing a multi-method examination of a police training academy in Iraqi Kurdistan, this study investigates how a nascent state attempts to secure hegemony in a post-conflict environment. Drawing upon literature of state legitimacy and empire, findings suggest the reconstruction is better understood as a cultural performance designed to project legitimacy for an imperial client state, helping explain the continued instability of the state and rise of dangerous non-state actors.

Urban Exploration: From Subterranea to Spectacle


Recreational trespass or ‘urban exploration’ (UE) is the practice of researching, gaining access to and documenting forbidden, forgotten or otherwise off-limits places, including abandoned buildings, construction sites and infrastructure systems. Over the past two decades, a global subculture has coalesced around this activity. More recently, however, the practice has begun to transform along divergent lines. The aims of the present article are three-fold: first, to bring UE and its emergent variants to the attention of a criminological audience; second, to interrogate increasingly spectacular visual representations of UE and attendant processes of commodification; and third, to introduce the rhizome as a way of thinking about urban social formations, their development and appropriation.

On the Role of a Social Identity Analysis in Articulating Structure and Collective Action: The 2011 Riots in Tottenham and Hackney


Theoretical perspectives that give primacy to ideological or structural determinism have dominated criminological analysis of the 2011 English ‘riots’. This paper provides an alternative social psychological perspective through detailed empirical analysis of two of these riots. We utilize novel forms of data to build triangulated accounts of the nature of the events and explore the perspectives of participants. We assert these riots cannot be adequately understood merely in terms pre-existing social understandings and political realities and that identity-based interactional crowd dynamics were critically important. The paper demonstrates the value of the social identity approach in providing criminological theory with a richer and deeper perspective on these complex social phenomena.

Policing in Cool and Hot Climates: Legitimacy, Power and the Rise and Fall of Mass Stop and Search in Scotland


Prior to the amalgamation of Scotland’s eight police forces into Police Scotland in 2013 by the Scottish National Party government, Scottish policing generally enjoyed a ‘cool’ political climate, with low scrutiny and minimal political engagement. This paper argues these conditions hindered the critical interrogation of Scottish policing, allowing a policy of unregulated and unfettered stop and search to flourish unchallenged for two decades. We then show how this policy was swiftly dismantled in the ‘heated’ environment that followed centralization, a move that gave rise to the unprecedented scrutiny of Scottish policing by media and political commentators. The analysis suggests that the legitimacy and reputation of the police may owe a debt to political environments that encourage either ‘soft’ or ‘hard’ analysis. Also, that more heated political environments, often disparaged by academics and criminal justice practitioners, can drive accountability and contribute to more progressive outcomes.

Rethinking the Place of Crime in Police Patrol: A Re-Reading of Classic Police Ethnographies


Both in the policing literature and criminology more broadly, it is a taken-for-granted fact—an entrenched ‘truism’—that patrol policing has little to do with crime. This ‘truth’ is a product of fieldwork on the public police begun in the early-1950s. These works, thus, are of immense importance to criminology. In this paper, I undertake a re-reading of several classic police ethnographies and argue that there is a disjuncture between what is claimed and revealed. These texts show that the patrol police appear to deal with a significant amount of what I call crime work, the minimization and marginalization of which I seek to make sense of.

The Rise of Partisan Pedagogy: How Stakeholders Outside of the Academy are answering the Call to Public Criminology


A growing number of criminologists are urging their peers to engage the general public concerning criminal justice issues in order to reverse the discipline’s marginalization and curb the recent intensification of punitive policies. This study examines the practical implementation of public criminology’s pedagogical practices in a sample of Canadian news media on a recent ‘tough-on-crime’ legislation. Overall, this study found that the ‘void’ of criminological evidence in mass media, which is so often lamented in the calls to public scholarship, was entirely absent. The author argues that the call to public criminology is already being answered by stakeholders outside of the academy, whose mass-mediated pedagogical practices are directed towards the furtherance of partisan agendas.

‘Anything We Do, We Have to Include the Communities’: Law Enforcement Rangers’ Attitudes Towards and Experiences of Community–Ranger Relations in Wildlife Protected Areas in Uganda


Wildlife crime and wildlife law enforcement have become important areas of study for criminologists. Little is known, however, of the experiences of law enforcement personnel, including their attitudes towards local villagers. Similar to previous policing research underscoring the value of understanding the perspectives of front-line law enforcement, this qualitative study examines the attitudes and experiences of law enforcement rangers towards residents living near a protected area (PA) in Uganda. Drawn from semi-structured interviews and participant observation, our findings reveal a multifaceted relationship between rangers and villagers. Despite offering mixed reactions about local residents, respondents recognized the importance of strengthening community–ranger relations. Implications for the development of co-production between rangers and villagers in the management and monitoring of PAs are discussed.

Can Criminologists Change the World? Critical Reflections on the Politics, Performance and Effects of Criminal Justice


Based on a Scottish case study, this article offers a critical reflection on criminal justice and the impact agenda. It will argue that the pathway to impact requires criminologists to interrogate more fully the inter-relationships between criminal justice as (1) political strategy; (2) institutional performance; and (3) embodied practice. Only by acknowledging the potential for dissonance between these dimensions, it is possible for the discipline to evolve a praxis that is theoretically informed, sensitive to political, spatial and temporal context as well having the highest potential for real-world transformation.

‘Once they pass you, They may be gone forever’: Humanitarian Duties and Professional Tensions in Safeguarding and Anti-Trafficking at the Border


Border crossings are considered sites of unique opportunity to identify and protect victims of trafficking. UK government reforms have given Border Officers new roles and responsibilities as humanitarian first responders. This paper explores how Border Officers reconcile this aspect of their work with their role as enforcers of immigration law and their increasingly militarized status as protectors of national sovereignty and security. Drawing on in-depth interviews with a specialized team of Safeguarding and Anti-trafficking (SAT) Officers at a UK airport, we identify the emergence of a distinct SAT subculture, characterized by a sense of moral purpose and moral community, and of doing difficult but meaningful and highly skilled work that others are too indifferent, feckless or intimidated by to take on.

Mediated Conviviality and the Urban Social Order: Reframing the Regulation of Public Space


The regulation of public space is influenced greatly by debates about crime, disorder and (in)security. This paper challenges certain assumptions that inform a number of competing mentalities regarding the regulation of public spaces drawn from within the fields of criminology and urban studies, notably ‘preventive exclusion’, ‘reassurance policing’ and the ‘right to the city’. It harnesses interdisciplinary insights from real-world examples to reframe and advance debates about the future regulation of public space, conceptualized in this paper as ‘mediated conviviality’. It argues that social order is not spontaneous but needs to be facilitated. This perspective simultaneously decentres crime and (in)security as central organizing concepts and recognizes the importance of safety to the development of a convivial public realm, with implications for practical strategies of urban governance.

Individualizing Risk: Moral Judgement, Professional Knowledge and Affect in Parole Evaluations


Drawing from an ethnographic project within the California (USA) parole system, this article traces how field personnel evaluate individuals and attempt to anticipate future conduct. It troubles claims that risk has replaced dangerousness and deindividualized penal subjects. In this setting, rather than displaying a technocratic character, the evaluation of risk is highly individualizing and impressionistic. Individuals contingently assemble knowledges, devalue actuarial tools and privilege their experiential expertise, affect and the moral judgement of personhood. Even among those classified as ‘serious’ offenders, evaluation operates as a space for judging the potential danger of specific individuals. This is reflective, in part, of field personnel’s efforts to protect their professional standing in the face of the parole agency’s promotion of risk technologies.

Comparing Employment Trajectories before and after First Imprisonment in Four Nordic Countries


Employment plays a crucial role in the re-entry process and in reducing recidivism among offenders released from prison. But at the same time, imprisonment is generally regarded as harmful to post-release employment prospects. Little is known, however, about whether or not offenders’ employment trajectories before and after imprisonment are similar across countries. As a first step towards filling this gap in research, this paper provides evidence on employment trajectories before and after imprisonment in four Nordic welfare states: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. Using data gathered from administrative records on incarcerated offenders, the analysis focuses on individuals imprisoned for the first time and who served a prison sentence less than one year in length. Results show that although employment trajectories develop in mostly similar ways before and after imprisonment across these countries, important differences exist.

Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala. By Kevin Lewis O’Neil (University of California Press, 2015, 304pp. £16.95)


Secure the Soul: Christian Piety and Gang Prevention in Guatemala. ByO’NeilKevin Lewis (University of California Press, 2015, 304pp. £16.95)

Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights and Carceral Logic. By Kitty Calavita and Valerie Jenness (University of California Press, 2015, 247pp. $34.95)


Appealing to Justice: Prisoner Grievances, Rights and Carceral Logic. ByCalavitaKitty and JennessValerie (University of California Press, 2015, 247pp. $34.95)