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Preview: British Journal of Criminology - current issue

The British Journal of Criminology Current Issue

Published: Thu, 20 Jul 2017 00:00:00 GMT

Last Build Date: Mon, 09 Oct 2017 11:53:01 GMT


Windows into the Soul: Surveillance and Society in an Age of High Technology. By Gary T. Marx. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016, xxii + 404 pp.


Windows into the Soul: Surveillance and Society in an Age of High Technology. By MarxGary T.. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2016, xxii + 404 pp.

Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse. By Ros Burnett (Oxford University Press, 2016, 304pp. £75.00)


Wrongful Allegations of Sexual and Child Abuse. By BurnettRos (Oxford University Press, 2016, 304pp. £75.00)

The Assassination Complex: Inside The US Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Programme. By Jeremy Scahill and the Staff of the Intercept (Serpent’s Tail, 2016, 234 pp. £8.99)


The Assassination Complex: Inside the US Government’s Secret Drone Warfare Programme. By ScahillJeremy and the Staff of the Intercept (Serpent’s Tail, 2016, 234 pp. £8.99)

In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies. By David Rieff (Yale University Press, 2016, $25.00/Yale University Press, £14.99, 160pp.)


In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and Its Ironies. By RieffDavid (Yale University Press, 2016, $25.00/Yale University Press, £14.99, 160pp.)

The Gendered Pains of Life Imprisonment


As many scholars have noted, women remain peripheral in most analyses of the practices and effects of imprisonment. This article aims to redress this pattern by comparing the problems of long-term confinement as experienced by male and female prisoners, and then detailing the most significant and distinctive problems reported by the latter. It begins by reporting data that illustrate that the women report an acutely more painful experience than their male counterparts. It then focuses on the issues that were of particular salience to the women: loss of contact with family members; power, autonomy and control; psychological well-being and mental health; and matters of trust, privacy and intimacy. The article concludes that understanding how women experience long sentences is not possible without grasping the multiplicity of abuse that the great majority have experienced in the community, or without recognizing their emotional commitments and biographies.

Sexual Activity in British Men’s Prisons: A Culture of Denial


Theorized through Stanley Cohen’s sociology of denial and informed by testimonies from formerly imprisoned men, this article argues that a culture of denial limits the ability and willingness of prison authorities and prison staff to recognize, acknowledge and respond appropriately to the realities of sexual activity in British prisons. It has three objectives: to detail experiences of consensual and coercive sex; to elucidate the collective and collaborative cultural habit of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ by which what is known becomes not known and what is concealed remains hidden; and to show how this strategy leaves unprotected those who choose to engage in, or are coerced into, sexual activity.

Women’s Experience of Motherhood, Violations of Supervision Requirements and Arrests


Though parenting is commonly viewed as an important factor influencing women’s desistance from offending, little is known about how specific aspects of parenting relate to recidivism. The present study investigated the connections of parenting stress, parenting involvement, routine parenting activities and maternal motivations to violations of supervision conditions, including arrests, for a sample of 190 women. The findings support desistance theories that identify involvement in routine prosocial activities, in this case caring for children, as an important explanation for complying with requirements of supervision and avoiding arrest. In contrast, motivations regarding motherhood alone do not appear to provide a strong enough catalyst to shift women away from patterns of lawbreaking.

Justice 2.0: Street harassment victims’ use of social media and online activism as sites of informal justice


Emerging scholarship has considered the potential for online spaces to function as sites of informal justice. To date, there has been little consideration of the experiences of individuals who seek justice online, and the extent to which victims’ justice needs can be met online. Drawing on the findings of a mixed-methods research project with street harassment victims in Melbourne, Australia, I consider participants’ reasons for, and experiences of, disclosing their encounters of street harassment online. I examine the extent to which these ‘map on to’ a selection of victim’s justice needs. While it is evident that online spaces can function as sites of justice, it is vital to ask for whom and in which contexts justice can be achieved online.

Leveson five years on: the effect of the Leveson and Filkin Reports on relations between the Metropolitan Police and the national news media


This paper re-examines certain previous conclusions from the classic literature on police/media relations in the United Kingdom in the wake of the Filkin and Leveson Reports. The paper draws on interviews with senior Metropolitan Police officers, press officers and national crime journalists and argues that previous conclusions about asymmetrical relations favouring the police are partially problematic, with the media being in possession of key resources that often give them the upper hand. The paper also explores the role of new media in crime reporting and exposing police misconduct and suggests a new transfiguration may be emerging in police/media relations, allowing the media partially to bypass police sources.

Online Abuse of Feminists as An Emerging form of Violence Against Women and Girls


Abuse directed at visible and audible women demonstrates that cyberspace, once heralded as a new, democratic, public sphere, suffers similar gender inequalities as the offline world. This paper reports findings from a national UK study about experiences of online abuse among women who debate feminist politics. It argues that online abuse is most usefully conceived as a form of abuse or violence against women and girls, rather than as a form of communication. It examines the experiences of those receiving online abuse, thereby making a valuable contribution to existing research which tends to focus on analysis of the communications themselves.

Understanding the Criminal: Record-Keeping, Statistics and the Early History of Criminology in England


This article seeks to understand why detailed personal information about accused criminals and convicts was recorded from the late 18th century in England, and why some of this information was converted into statistics from the 1820s, such that by 1860, extensive information about criminals’ physical characteristics and backgrounds was regularly collected and tabulated. These developments in record-keeping and statistics were mostly the result of local initiatives and imperatives, revealing a grass-roots information-gathering culture, with limited central government direction. Rather than primarily driven by efforts at control or the practical demands of judicial administration, the substantial amount of information recorded reveals a strong and widely held desire to understand the criminal, long before the self-conscious enterprise of ‘criminology’ was invented.

The Occupation of the Senses: The Prosthetic and Aesthetic of State Terror


Colonial and settler colonial dispossession is performed through various forms of violence, justified by cultural, historical, religious and national imperatives. In this paper, I define one of these forms of violence as the occupation of the senses, referring to the sensory technologies that manage bodies, language, sight, time and space in the colony. This paper analyses the parades, marches and festivals performed in the Palestinian city space of occupied East Jerusalem; shares the slogans, chants and graffiti used by Israeli civil, religious and nationalist entities; and explores what is lived, seen, heard, felt and smelled by the colonized to uncover the political violence implicated in the occupation of the senses.

Excavating the Organ Trade: An Empirical Study of Organ Trading Networks in Cairo, Egypt


Legislative action in response to the organ trade has centred on the prohibition of organ sales and the enforcement of criminal sanctions targeting ‘trafficking’ offences. This paper argues that the existing law enforcement response is not only inadequate but harmful. The analysis is based on empirical data gathered in Cairo, Egypt, among members of the Sudanese population who have either sold or arranged for the sale of kidneys. The data suggest that prohibition has pushed the organ trade further underground increasing the role of organ brokers and reducing the bargaining position of organ sellers, leaving them exposed to greater levels of exploitation.

Unequal Treatment in Pretrial Detention in China


Drawing on 4,098 documents concerning adjudication decisions from three district courts in China, this study reveals that white-collar offenders enjoy favourable treatment in pretrial detention. Using statistical analysis, the article reveals that suspects without resources and social status are significantly more likely to be detained before trial; the higher rates of self-surrender and good behaviour among white-collar offenders play a vital role in considerably lowering the possibility of detention; bailed white-collar offenders also have advantages over detained suspects in probation and sentencing outcomes. Unlike previous studies on the extralegal reasons as explanations for these findings, we expand our perspectives to include the law, shuanggui, flaws in evidence, resources, crime-control orientation policy and punitive culture in order to explain the disparities.

Risk Control, Rights and Legitimacy in the Limited Liability State


Although controlling risk has become a prevalent theme in contemporary penal development in the main English-speaking societies, the range and extent of these measures is limited and specific, indicative of new obligations and reciprocities between state and citizen following post-1980s restructuring. Individuals are exhorted to take care of themselves, but the state remains committed to managing risks thought beyond their control and likely to cause irreparable harm through innovative penal measures. The paper explains how these have coalesced around risks to community cohesion and sexual attacks on women and children; and how these measures have then been legitimated, given that they contravene previous long-standing rules, principles and conventions intended to prohibit or restrict their use.

(No) Laughing Allowed—Humour and the Limits of Soft Power in Prison


Although humour in prison is a widespread phenomenon, its meaning and function has not been examined in any detail. This article seeks to address this gap by analysing humour in prison-based cognitive behavioural programmes. The empirical data from fieldwork in three different programme settings illuminate how the participants actively disrupt and twist the power hierarchies by providing a kind of humorous meta-commentary on the simplicity and class bias of the course content. This article suggests that humour could be seen as a tool that enables prisoners to fend off the psychological and rhetorical power of the cognitive behavioural programmes, even if only briefly. By developing the concept of ‘soft resistance’ and analysing humour as friction and code-switching, this article aims to illustrate and discuss the limits of soft power in prison-based therapeutic settings.