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Spring Term 2017

All events are on Thursday evenings, 6pm - 7:30pm.  Please book via Eventbrite, by clicking on the BOOK NOW link below for the event you wish to attend.

On Twitter: #BBKCrimSeries

2 February: Professor Tim Newburn (Department of Social Policy, LSE) Policy Mobilities and Comparative Penality

Abstract: The study of ‘policy transfer’ has recently been subject to sustained criticism, not least by by human geographers and ‘critical policy studies’ scholars. This might reasonably lead some criminologists to question the continued utility of such work in scholarly discussions of crime control and penal policy-making. I will argue that a concern with what traditionally has been called 'policy transfer' is potentially more important than ever, though there may be some need to reconsider the terminology used. Building on recent critiques, the paper argues that a growing recognition of the importance of the ‘proximate causes’ of penal change offers potentially fertile ground for work that focuses on the mobility of policy.

9 March: Professor Phil Scraton (School of Law, Queen’s University Belfast) Hillsborough: Resisting Injustice, Uncovering Truth

Abstract: 15 April 1989: an inescapable crush on the terraces at Hillsborough Stadium at an FA Cup Semi-Final led to the deaths of 96 men, women and children. Hundreds of Liverpool fans were injured, thousands traumatised. Throughout the investigations and inquiries, those who died and survived were vilified amid police allegations of drunkenness, violence, criminal and abusive behaviour. The families’ unrelenting campaign for truth recovery led to disclosure of all existing documents to an Independent Panel. Its definitive report revealed institutional mendacity, corrupted evidence and partial investigation. This brought an unreserved Government apology, an ongoing criminal investigation into all agencies involved and an unprecedented IPCC investigation into 2,000 police officers. It also led to new inquests, commencing March 2014 through to 2016. Author of the highly acclaimed Hillsborough: The Truth, Phil Scraton, Professor of Criminology, Queen’s University, headed the Panel’s research and was primary author of its report. He has also been advisor to the families’ legal teams throughout the inquests. In this talk he reflects on the long-term campaign for truth, details the Panel’s extensive findings and analyses the new inquests and their outcome. Finally, he examines the impact of his critical research and truth recovery for challenging institutional injustice and holding State institutions to account.

23 March: Professor Yvonne Jewkes (University of Brighton) The modern architecture of incarceration: from spectacular statement of sovereign power to (an)aesthetic symbol of public indifference

Abstract: Drawing on data from a three-year ESRC-funded research study, this lecture will argue that the prison is a mimesis of its specific social, political and economic context. As early as 1789 prison reformer John Howard described the ‘pompous fronts’ and palatial proportions of the prisons being conceived and constructed in that era. More than simply impressive feats of engineering, the spectacular, but frankly unnecessary, embellishments that adorned 18th and 19th century gaolhouses can be viewed as an aesthetic coding, subtly transforming the prison into a challenging, potent presence in the community and a rousing, sensate experience for those who lived within and without it. In more recent times, however, the (an)aesthetics of imprisonment have reformed and rationalized the delivery of punishment, exemplifying the actuarial preoccupations of the ‘new penology’. The new dystopian vernacular that has emerged is one of over-securitization and surveillance; but it is also characterized by similitude, blandness and indifference.  As Augé (1995) might have it, prisons have become ‘non-places’ for ‘non-people’.

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