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Comparative Penology

Institute of Criminology

Studying at Cambridge



  • Crewe, B. (2015) 'Inside the belly of the beast: understanding and conceptualising the experience of imprisonment', in Tubex, H.and Eriksson, A. (eds) The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 4(1), 50-65.
  • Crewe, B. (2011) 'Depth, weight, tightness: revisiting the pains of imprisonment', Punishment and Society, 13(5): 509-529.
  • Crewe, B. (2009) 'The Prisoner Society: Power, Adaptation and Social Life in an English Prison'. Oxford: Oxford University Press.




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).