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Comparative Penology

Institute of Criminology

Studying at Cambridge

Ben Crewe's Publications

Selected articles:


Crewe, B., Hulley, S. and Wright, S. (2017) ‘The gendered pains of life imprisonment’, British Journal of Criminology. 57(6), 1359-1378

Crewe, B., Hulley, S. and Wright, S. (2016) ‘Swimming with the tide: adapting to long-term imprisonment’, Justice Quarterly. 34(3), 517-541.

Wright, S., Crewe, B. and Hulley, S. (2016) ‘Suppression, denial, sublimation: Defending against the initial pains of very long life sentences’ Theoretical Criminology, 21(2), 225-246, doi: 10.1177/1362480616643581

Laws, B. and Crewe, B. (2016) ‘Emotion regulation among male prisoners’ Theoretical Criminology, 20(4): 529-547, doi: 10.1177/1362480615622532 

Hulley, S., Crewe, B. and Wright, S. (2016) ‘Re-examining the problems of long-term imprisonment’, British Journal of Criminology, 56(4): 769-792. 

Ievins, A. and Crewe, B. (2015) ‘Nobody’s better than you, nobody’s worse than you’: Moral community among prisoners convicted of sexual offences’ Punishment and Society, 17(4): 482-501

Crewe, B. (2015) 'Inside the belly of the beast: understanding the experience of imprisonment', The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy 4(1), 50-65

Crewe, B., Liebling, A., and Hulley, S. (2015) 'Staff-prisoner relationships, staff professionalism and the use of authority in public and private sector prisons', Law and Social Inquiry, 40(2), 309-344.

Crewe, B., Liebling, A. and Hulley, S. (2014) 'Heavy-light, absent-present: Re-thinking the ‘weight’ of imprisonment', British Journal of Sociology 65 (3), 387-410

Crewe, B. (2014) 'Not looking hard enough: masculinity, emotion and prison research', Qualitative Inquiry, 20(4), 392-403

Crewe, B., Bennett, P., Smith, A. and Warr, J. (2014) 'The emotional geography of prison life', Theoretical Criminology 18(1), 1 56-74

Hulley, S., Liebling, A. and Crewe, B. (2012) ‘Respect in prisons: Prisoners’ experiences of respect in public and private sector prisons’ Criminology and Criminal Justice, 12(1), 3-23

Crewe, B. (2011) ‘Depth, weight, tightness: Revisiting the pains of imprisonment’, Punishment and Society, 13(5), 509-529. 

Crewe, B. (2011) ‘Soft power in prison: Implications for staff-prisoner relationships, liberty and legitimacy’, European Journal of Criminology 8(6), 455-468

Crewe, B, Liebling, A. and Hulley. S. (2011) ‘Staff culture, the use of authority, and prisoner quality of life in public and private sector prisons’ Australia and New Zealand Journal of Criminology. 44(1), 94-115.

Crewe, B. (2007) ‘Power, Adaptation and Resistance in a Late-Modern Men’s Prison’ British Journal of Criminology 47(2), 256-275

Crewe, B. (2006) ‘Male prisoners’ orientations towards female officers in an English prison’ Punishment and Society 8(4), 395-421

Crewe, B (2006) ‘Prison Drug Dealing and the Ethnographic Lens’, The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice, 45(4), 347-368

Crewe, B. (2005) ‘The Prisoner Society in the Era of Hard Drugs’, Punishment and Society, 7(4), 457-481



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).