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Comparative Penology

Institute of Criminology
 
Read more at: Distance and closeness – negotiating ‘soft power’ in a women’s prison
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Distance and closeness – negotiating ‘soft power’ in a women’s prison

Distance and closeness – negotiating ‘soft power’ in a women’s prison By Daria Przybylska The prison is an institution saturated with power. As such, prisons are ‘exemplary sites for the study of power’ (Liebling and Crewe 2012: 895). Yet, whereas the subject of power has been interrogated at...


Read more at: Institutionalised guilt in a women’s prison
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Institutionalised guilt in a women’s prison

Institutionalised guilt in a women’s prison By Line Dahler-Eriksen For several months last year I was involved in coding interviews for the Comparative Penology project. Most of the interviews I worked on were with women imprisoned in HMP Send, in England & Wales. In their stories, a theme that...


Read more at: Knowing me knowing you: Order and Relationships in an Open Prison in Iceland
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Knowing me knowing you: Order and Relationships in an Open Prison in Iceland

Knowing me knowing you: Order and Relationships in an Open Prison in Iceland By Francis Pakes There are five prisons in Iceland; two of these are open. In the summer of 2018 I resided for two weeks in these open prisons. I had explained to the prison authorities in Reykjavík that I wanted to assume...


Read more at: Coding: An Information Trail without Walking the Prison Trail
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Coding: An Information Trail without Walking the Prison Trail

Coding: An Information Trail without Walking the Prison Trail By Sarah Doxat-Pratt I joined the COMPEN team in February this year, tasked with coding interview data from the Entry-Exit-Post-Release research. The EEPR study involved following the journeys of prisoners through the criminal justice...


Read more at: Exploring the Pains and Possibilities of Waiting for Imprisonment
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Exploring the Pains and Possibilities of Waiting for Imprisonment

‘It’s Like a Sentence Before the Sentence’ — Exploring the Pains and Possibilities of Waiting for Imprisonment By Julie Laursen ‘There is no connection between…you just wander around in a trance, you cannot plan anything, you can’t, time just goes, and you don’t care about a damned thing because...


Read more at: Discrimination against women sentenced to prison in Norway is a myth

Discrimination against women sentenced to prison in Norway is a myth

Discrimination against women sentenced to prison in Norway is a myth Ragnar Kristoffersen Researcher at the University College of Norwegian Correctional Service Introduction A Google search on the internet for women’s prison conditions in Norway results in more than 7000 Norwegian articles, the...


Read more at: The prison trail and the benefits of walking it
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The prison trail and the benefits of walking it

The prison trail and the benefits of walking it By Julie Laursen ‘ I’ve gone backwards in my sentence: from E to D, to Y wing to Z wing and finally to X wing’ (Sebastian). These words and letters are probably difficult to decipher for the reader, and neither would they have made any sense to me two...


Read more at: Why Does Prison Social Order Vary Around the World?
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Why Does Prison Social Order Vary Around the World?

Why Does Prison Social Order Vary Around the World? By David Skarbek, Brown University and Courtney Michaluk, R Street Popular stereotypes often portray prisons in one of two ways: either overcrowded, violent, and chaotic places, like those found in some parts of America, or small, peaceful, and...


Read more at: Thinking through water
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Thinking through water

Thinking through water – elemental metaphors in carceral environments By Anna Schliehe The connection between water and prisons is by no means straightforward, and even my own COMPEN colleagues have asked me what I could possibly say about this subject. However, over the course of our fieldwork in...


Read more at: Bad men by Kristian Mjåland
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Bad men by Kristian Mjåland

Bad men By Kristian Mjåland Coming towards the end of a 7-months long ethnographic fieldwork in a Norwegian women’s prison, I would like to reflect on what this piece of research has taught me about being a male researcher. The women I met and interviewed during these months had highly varied...


Read more at: Loneliness by Julie Laursen
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Loneliness by Julie Laursen

Loneliness By Julie Laursen ‘And that kind of isolation erm is... it becomes quite all-encompassing […]I think I understand now when people leave prison they feel like they've never left, even though they're on the out because they still feel isolated ’ (Manwell [1] ). Loneliness has emerged as a...


Read more at: Look to Norway?
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Look to Norway?

Look to Norway? Well … By Kirsti Nymo and Sven-Erik Skotte, from KRUS (University College of Norwegian Correctional Services) The Norwegian Correctional Service has been highly reputed for its well-equipped prisons and well-educated prison officers with good opportunities for rehabilitation work...


Read more at: Autonomy in prison: So close?...Yet so far

Autonomy in prison: So close?...Yet so far

Autonomy in prison: So close?...Yet so far By Annie Bunce For my PhD research, I have qualitatively explored prisoners’ motivations to participate in an innovative programme that brought together young people (aged 13-17) at risk of, or already involved in, criminal activity with serving prisoners...


Read more at: Life after Death?
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Life after Death?

Life after Death? By Steve What thoughts do these words invoke within our minds? Many may perceive them in a spiritual sense - a hope that there is something more to come; a hope maybe, of a resurrection or reincarnation, after our corporeal journey has ended. For me, as an ex-offender of maybe the...


Read more at: Does work stress change personalities?
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Does work stress change personalities?

Does work stress change personalities? Working in prison as a personality-changing factor among correctional officers By Nina Suliman and Tomer Einat Studies focusing on prison staff in general and correctional officers in particular reveal a link between the working environment in prison and...


Read more at: Guest Blog by Guy Hamilton-Smith
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Guest Blog by Guy Hamilton-Smith

On America's Civil Death Penalty: The Sexual Offense Registry By Guy Hamilton-Smith Oscar Wilde, writing from his cell in the Reading Gaol where he was imprisoned for homosexuality at the end of the nineteenth century, observed that "society reserves for itself the right to inflict appalling...


Read more at: Guest blog by Berit Johnsen
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Guest blog by Berit Johnsen

Nordic exceptionalism and politics By Berit Johnsen, associate professor/head of research department, University College of Norwegian Correctional Service. Over the last decade or so, there has been increasing interest in Norwegian prisons among academics, journalists, prison staff and others from...


Read more at: Guest Blog by Vanessa Barker
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Guest Blog by Vanessa Barker

Penal Nationalism By Vanessa Barker Our social world is being rapidly transformed by one of the most powerful forces sweeping across affluent societies in response to globalization and mass mobility: nationalism. Resurgent nationalism has the power to disrupt conventional right/left politics to...


Read more at: Guest Blog on Challenging life imprisonment

Guest Blog on Challenging life imprisonment

Challenging life imprisonment By Catherine Appleton and Dirk van Zyl Smit Life imprisonment is a harsh sanction that gives the state the power to imprison individuals for the remainder of their lives. It is a punishment used in many countries, yet very little is known about how it is imposed and...


Read more at: Guest Blog by Ann-Karina Henriksen
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Guest Blog by Ann-Karina Henriksen

”Will it matter what you say?” – reflections on what motivates interviewees to participate in research By Ann-Karina Henriksen, postdoctoral researcher at Department of Sociology and Social Work, Aalborg University. A year ago I was engaged in fieldwork in Danish secure institutions. On and off...


logo The Comparative Penology Group is led by Dr Ben Crewe and his research team who, since 2016, have been working on a five-year project titled: 'Penal policymaking and the prisoner experience: a comparative analysis'.

The research is based in England & Wales, and Norway, and involves four inter-related studies of (a) penal policymaking and the penal field (b) the experience of entry into and release from custody (c) the daily experiences of female prisoners and imprisoned sex offenders, and (d) prisoners in the most secure parts of each jurisdiction's prison system.

This project is funded by the European Research Council (ERC).

  

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