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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Anna King

The purpose of this paper is to explore Bryan Stevenson’s (2014, 2015) call to action from within two emergent schools of thought in criminology, “cultural criminology,”…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore Bryan Stevenson’s (2014, 2015) call to action from within two emergent schools of thought in criminology, “cultural criminology,” and “convict criminology”, which share a special concern with the contributions that criminological research makes to a climate of social control and punishment. The author’s central aim is to explore the capacity of what the author argues is a potentially under-leveraged tool of social change – the philosophies underlying and implemented in cultural and convict criminology.

Design/methodology/approach

To demonstrate the potential impact of this research, the author draws upon a purposive sample of qualitative studies that exemplify the particular emotive, moral, and aesthetic goals central to Stevenson’s call to action. The impact of the production of images of crime, crime control, and criminals that emerge in the development of the paradigms central to cultural and convict criminology is finally discussed in terms of Stevenson’s four prescriptions for social and criminal justice reform.

Findings

The underlying philosophies, theoretical assumptions, and methodological approaches dictated by convict and cultural criminology are uniquely equipped to make visible the forces linked to resistance to penal and social reform.

Research limitations/implications

In synthesizing cultural criminology and the emergent convict criminology as guides to doing empirical research, and identifying each as embodying Stevenson’s call to action, the author hopes – maybe not to extract those easily ignitable, invisible forces away from reform efforts entirely, but at least – to provide those who are interested with a more nuanced map of where they are not likely to live and breathe them. Stimulating and widening the criminological imagination might not satisfy our need to quickly and concretely apply a solution to injustice, but it might be what the problem demands.

Originality/value

Stevenson (2014) argues that the extent of injustice in the US criminal justice system is so pervasive, extraordinary, and long standing, that everyone has a role to play in the course of our everyday lives in turning the tide of indifference and cruelty that feed mass injustice and incarceration. Applying his proposals to the on-the-ground working lives of empirical criminologists holds potential for effecting change from the top-down.

Details

Journal of Criminal Psychology, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2009-3829

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Drawing inspiration from C Wright Mills exhortation to sociologists to locate themselves and their experiences in the ‘trends of their epoch’, I consider how first-hand…

Abstract

Drawing inspiration from C Wright Mills exhortation to sociologists to locate themselves and their experiences in the ‘trends of their epoch’, I consider how first-hand experience of imprisonment can help criminology account for the growing trend towards the use of imprisonment in many Western democracies. Using interviews with a small group of British criminologists who have experience of imprisonment, I explore the connections between personal stories and collective narratives. Drawing reflexively from my own imprisonment, my subsequent professional trajectory and experiences of prison research, I consider the difficulties and potential of crafting a collective criminological project from disparate and profoundly personal experiences of imprisonment. The chapter combines methodological reflections on the use of autoethnography, autobiography and vignettes as a means to an end: establishing collective narratives from personal stories. I argue that the task of connecting these narratives to the ‘trends of the epoch’ that manifest in expanding prison populations is difficult but developing some momentum in convict criminology.

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

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Book part
Publication date: 24 June 2020

Anna King and Shadd Maruna

We discuss the contributions of Jack Katz to the field of criminology with a particular focus on his 1988 book, Seductions of Crime. This book emerged out of a time in…

Abstract

We discuss the contributions of Jack Katz to the field of criminology with a particular focus on his 1988 book, Seductions of Crime. This book emerged out of a time in American history when criminal justice policy was shaped in part by moral panic over the 1980s’ American crime wave. We argue that SOC’s pragmatic approach to phenomenology owes much to this historical context. The vision outlined in the book represents an ideal foundation on which to build a future criminology in tune with the direction of innovation in the field. In making this case, we review the core contributions of the work from our perspective. We then explore the complicated “politics” of Katz’s argument – defying easy labels of left and right, and discuss the significance of a growing divide between the opinions of lay persons and expert accounts of crime. The modes of inquiry that Katz reawakened with his analysis have many as of yet untapped riches to offer, not only to criminological theory but also to criminal justice reform. In particular, we argue that urgent contemporary trends toward “public criminology,” “convict criminology” both could find, in SOC, an ideal epistemological starting place.

Details

Jack Katz
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-072-7

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Abstract

Details

The Ambiguities of Desistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-786-0

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Book part
Publication date: 16 March 2021

David Honeywell

Abstract

Details

The Ambiguities of Desistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-786-0

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 16 March 2021

David Honeywell

Abstract

Details

The Ambiguities of Desistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-786-0

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Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Abstract

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

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Book part
Publication date: 25 May 2017

James Burnett, Alvin Killough and Eryn Killough

To share a curriculum that can lead to successful re-entry for those transitioning from prison to freedom.

Abstract

Purpose

To share a curriculum that can lead to successful re-entry for those transitioning from prison to freedom.

Methodology/approach

We support our argument with data drawn from the intersection of a case study, auto-ethnography and heuristic research.

Findings

Convicts, particularly African Americans and other ethnic minorities who are incarcerated experience initiatory rites of passage as enabling mechanisms when facing re-entry to society. These rites can lead to one of two results. One is positive, undergirded by the necessary internal changes of psychological desires to become a productive member in society and supported by complementary external social networks. The other is negative, driven by on-going states of anomie, supported by counterproductive engagements in activities that lead to maladaptive states in terms of qualities of life. Our research findings lead to multiple conclusions and combine to converge in support of a more productive re-entry process. In this chapter, we present three themes critically embedded within The Sacred Space Rite of Passage Transition to Freedom Curriculum that can be used to enhance the prospects for re-entry to society. (1) Value to self and others can be appropriated, if reconceptualized through the personal journey-to-success re-entry model, as seen by a once incarcerated African American drug offender, now turned university professor. (2) Value to community can potentially be greatly enhanced, when major dimensions of this journey are structurally used to inform the application of programmatic activities, particularly when undergirding the passage of others. (3) Value to society must be re-visited, conceptually if not paradigmatically, within an interdisciplinary framework that seriously includes the critical voice of the prior incarcerated.

Originality/value

The Sacred Space Rite of Passage Transition to Freedom Curriculum is the result of life lessons learned through pre-incarceration, incarceration, and postincarceration in the criminal justice system in America. These important life lessons experienced and learned are the foundation for the journey of re-integration and re-entry to family and community, from prisoner to professor.

Details

Race, Ethnicity and Law
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-604-4

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Book part
Publication date: 16 March 2021

David Honeywell

Abstract

Details

The Ambiguities of Desistance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-786-0

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 7 October 2019

Abstract

Details

The Emerald Handbook of Narrative Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-006-6

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