Thursday, 31 December 2009

PD James on the Today Programme

PD James the crime writer was the guest editor on the Today Programme this morning so there were some interesting and relevant items. Her grilling of Mark Thompson was pretty impressive although not much to do with criminology. You can listen again to the items individually from this page:

Some highlights:
Former Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and the best selling crime writer Lynda La Plante, discuss why viewers never seem to tire of watching fictional police detectives at work.

Guest editor PD James discusses her concerns that there are considerable public anxieties about aspects of the criminal justice system with the Secretary of State for Justice, Jack Straw.
Happy new year to all!

Monday, 21 December 2009

Child imprisonment

Some of the Ph.D. candidates at the Institute of Criminology recently sent a letter to Mr. Lansley, MP for Cambridgeshire South whose constituency contains the Oakington immigration removal centre asking him to lobby the Government and his party to combat the rising numbers of young people being detained for immigration purposes, and to reduce the number of young people being imprisoned for criminal matters following the recent publication of research into the serious mental and physical health damages to children in prison, as reported in the most recent edition of Child Abuse and Neglect: the International Journal. The letter is below and we will post Mr. Lansley's response when we receive one.

Ruth Armstrong
[Address removed]

19 December 2009

Dear Mr. Lansley MP

As your constituent, I and my undersigned colleagues at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, would like to voice our grave concerns about the children in prison in your constituency.

Following the press reports on the untold serious mental and physical health damages to children in prison, as reported in the most recent edition of Child Abuse and Neglect: the International Journal, I would like to request that you, as my representative in Parliament, do everything within your power to stop the imprisonment of children in your constituency, and to put pressure on the Government to stop the imprisonment of children nationwide.

I would ask that you commit to promoting the Sanctuary Pledge at the 2010 General Elections, which includes a commitment to end the detention of children and families for immigration purposes.

I would also like to take this opportunity to draw your attention to recent coverage of this matter and the Observer newspaper’s campaign to reduce the use of imprisonment for children generally. We are an embarrassing leader in world child imprisonment, and this trend needs to be reversed to combat social and health problems of which it is both a cause and a result. This might be a very pertinent issue to be taken up by Mr. Duncan Smith MP and his Centre for Social Justice.

As Shadow Health Secretary and MP for South Cambridgeshire these matters should be high on your agenda and we trust you will apply your political weight to the necessary task of eradicating child imprisonment of all types in the UK.

Yours sincerely,

Ruth Armstrong,
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology

Jake Phillips,
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology

Vicky Gadd
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Alexandra Cox
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Beth Hardie
Research Manager PADS+
Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Alejandra Mera
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Anton Symkovych
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Sytske Besemer
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Margaret Wilson
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Laura Bui
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Elizabeth Gurian
Ph.D. Candidate
Institute of Criminology
University of Cambridge

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Interesting radio programmes

There have been two interesting radio programmes on Radio 4 in the last few weeks. The first, hosted by sociologist Laurie Taylor, is on the topic of white collar crime, which you can listen to here. The second is on the topic of prison clothing, which you can listen to here.

Report on Children and Risk

The Centre for Crime and Justice Studies has just published a report on policies directed at children and young people that are informed by risk factor analysis. One of the more provocative and interesting questions asked in description of the report is: Is it risky people who commit crime or risky societies that cause individual problems? This report could be an interesting starting point for further discussion.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Useful article for submitting to journals

Thanks to Amy for pointing this out to us:

Vaughn, M.S., Carmen, R.V.D., Perfecto, M. & Charand, K.X. (2004) Journals in criminal justice and criminology: An updated and expanded guide for authors. Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 15 (1), p.61.

Abstract: This article provides an annotated list of 326 journals in criminal justice and criminology. After consulting the “notes for contributors” sections of each journal, the authors mailed a self-administered survey to all journal editors soliciting their input on their editorial policies. Journal websites were also consulted to construct the journals' mission, scope, and editorial focus. A total of 221 editors returned the survey for a return rate of 68%. The following entries present an annotation that summarizes the mission, philosophy, and editorial policies of each journal. Following the annotations, the chart documents contact information for the editors and editorial policies concerning submissions to each journal.

Basically, the article includes loads of journals outside criminology that are still relevant - covering sociology, psychology, methodology, anthropology, gender studies, practitioner-related studies, drugs, law, etc etc. At the end is a massive table that describes the styles used by each, editorial policies, acceptance rates, how to submit and whether or not there are fees. It is a little outdated, but still pretty useful.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Call for papers: Mixed Methods in Psychology and Law and in Criminological Research


Mixed Methods in Psychology and Law and in Criminological Research

Deadline for Papers: 1st February 2010

Eugenio De Gregorio, University of Genoa and

Colin Holmes, James Cook University

Contributions are invited to a special issue of the International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches (ISSN 1834-0806) dedicated to Mixed Methods in Psychology and Law and in Criminological Research. The issue will include papers on epistemology in psychological, legal and criminological domains, theoretical and empirical research experiences and commentaries on mixed approach in legal, criminological and psychological literature; examples of studies which have run qualitative and quantitative, as well multiple approaches are welcome; and challenges and emerging issues in combining innovative approaches and evaluation programs are also invited.

Work may be submitted - in the format of a case study, literature review, research note or research article - for the following parts:

Section 1: Epistemological Background for Research in Psychology and Law and in Criminology

  • Historical and philosophical perspectives
  • Mainly quantitative content analysis and related approaches
  • Mainly qualitative content analysis and related approaches

Section 2: Theoretical Issues and Planning Stages for Multiple Approaches

Examples of studies using multiple approaches which have attempted diverse:

  • Sampling strategies
  • Data formats
  • Sequencing of data sets
  • Integration of data sets
  • From qualitative to quantitative designs
  • From quantitative to qualitative designs
  • 'Born to be mixed'

Section 3: Challenges and Emerging Issues

  • Ethical issues (Role of participants, researcher and team based approaches, clients and users)
  • Analytical issues
  • Reporting information

Section 4: Mixed Methods and Evaluation for Intervention, Prevention and Crime Reduction Research

  • Restorative justice and victimology
  • Community-based programmes

Commentaries: Review of initiatives, policing, social work, psychological and social literature

Each section will include an invited Editorial of about 1000 words and 3-4 articles of strictly 6000-8000 words.

Manuscripts should be submitted according to the journal's Author Guidelines.

Please indicate in the covering email that it is for the special issue on Mixed Methods in Psychology and Law and in Criminological Research and the preferred section.

Abstracts are invited to be sent to the Editor in advance by 15 April 2009.

Any queries regarding the special issue may be addressed to either Editor: Professor Eugenio De Gregorio at: or Professor Colin Holmes at:

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Job opportunity: preventive justice at Oxford University

Post-doctoral Research Officer


Grade 7: Salary £28,839 - £30,594 per annum

We are looking to appoint a Post-Doctoral Research Officer to work on a three-year study of preventive justice, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. This study will re-assess the foundations for the range of coercive measures that states now take in the name of prevention and public protection. Its main objective is to develop an account of the principles and values that should guide and limit the state’s use of preventive techniques and powers. The project is directed by Professor Andrew Ashworth and Professor Lucia Zedner. The appointee will play a full part in supporting the project, and will also be expected to pursue her or his own research, on an agreed topic within the general field of the project.

We are looking to appoint someone who has completed, or is very soon to complete, a doctorate in political theory, philosophy or law. The person appointed will be organized, efficient and capable of taking the initiative, and will be expected to work without close supervision. This is an exciting opportunity for an able and enthusiastic researcher who is interested in relationships between lawmaking and political and legal theory, and who could develop that interest within the overall umbrella of this project.

The post will be based in the Centre for Criminology, Manor Road Building, Manor Road, Oxford, OX1 3UQ and is full-time for three years. It is hoped to fill the vacancy from March 1st, 2010, or as soon as possible thereafter.

Informal enquiries about the post are welcome, and can be made to:

Professor Andrew Ashworth, at or

Professor Lucia Zedner, at

Further particulars are available at or may be obtained from Emma Gascoigne, Faculty of Law, St Cross Building, St Cross Road, Oxford, OX1 3UL, email The closing date for applications is Friday 15th January 2010. Interviews will take place on Wednesday 27th January 2010.

Call for papers: Hate Studies Conference, Spokane

Gonzaga Institute for Action Against Hate
Second International Conference on Hate Studies
April 6 - 9, 2011

The Second International Conference on Hate Studies builds upon the successful 2004 initial conference, also held at Gonzaga University. It will convene leading academics from around the world, journalists, law enforcement personnel, educators, representatives of governmental and
non-governmental organizations, human rights experts, community organizers, activists and others to discuss hatred and how to improve the academic study thereof. The lessons learned and plans which emerge will help educators, researchers, advocates and others better analyze and combat hatred in its various manifestations.

Hate studies is defined as "Inquiries into the human capacity to define, and then dehumanize or demonize, an 'other,' and the processes which inform and give expression to, or can curtail or combat, that capacity."

If hate is understood better, then approaches to combat it can increasingly become testable theories, and then analyzed and improved. The result can have real-world impact, including creating models for changes in society, government, culture and our individual and communal lives.

The theme of this conference is Interdisciplinary Approaches to Understanding the Nature of Hate, Crafting Models for Combating Hatred, and Implications for Practice. Papers analyzing this theme from different theoretical or disciplinary lenses are invited such as those from history, communications, psychology, social psychology, evolutionary psychology, anthropology, sociology, criminal justice, law, biology, business, economics, theology, religious studies, political science, literature, philosophy, education, and more.

See here: for more details.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Call for papers: Surveillance and Empowerment

Special Issue of Surveillance & Society: Issue 8(3)
Guest editors: Torin Monahan, David Murakami Wood, and David J. Phillips

Publication date: end of October 2010
Deadline for submissions: March 31st 2010

This issue of Surveillance & Society is seeking papers and other submissions that examine the social implications of contemporary surveillance with a particular interest in the complexities of empowerment. In the surveillance studies literature, there have been significant contributions unsocial sorting, digital discrimination, privacy invasion, racial profiling, sexual harassment, and other mechanisms of unequal treatment. In contradistinction, this issue seeks to explore the potential of surveillance for individual autonomy and dignity, fairness and due process, community cooperation and empowerment, and social equality. Key to this inquiry will be questioning the extent to which surveillance can be designed, employed, and regulated to contribute to democratic practices and/or the social good.

The very framing of the issue in terms of “surveillance and empowerment” begs the question of empowerment for whom and for what purposes. Thus, we invite critical attention to the ways in which surveillance practices may unfairly embody advantages for some groups over others and to explore alternatives. Possible research areas might include (but are not limited to):
Surveillance and human security
Surveillance and well-being / flourishing
Surveillance for safety
Ethical surveillance infrastructures and systems, e.g. ubiquitous computing environments that provide care for the vulnerable, dependent and elderly
Surveillance for sustainability, environmental management and environmental justice Surveillance of energy and resource consumption
Social networking tools employed by social movements
Surveillance of corporations, government agencies, or political parties by watchdog groups
Policies for ensuring privacy, accountability, and transparency with video or other surveillance systems
Surveillance in post-authoritarian societies – toward restrictions and counters to the unleashed surveillance of former regimes
We welcome full academic papers, opinion pieces, review pieces, poetry, artistic, and audio-visual submissions. Submissions will undergo a peer-review and revision process prior to publication. Submissions should be original work, neither previously published nor under consideration for publication elsewhere. All references to previous work by contributors should be masked in the text (e.g., “Author, 2009”).

All papers must be submitted through the online submission system no later than March 31st 2010, for publication at the end of October 2010. Please use submit the papers in a MSWord-compatible format. For further submission guidelines, please see:

For all inquiries regarding the issue, please contact:

Monday, 14 December 2009

Career resources

The CRASSH early career researchers group has posted some very useful resources for early career researchers, including funding opportunities, advice on searching for postdoctoral grants, and so on. The CRASSH site on career resources for postdocs can be found here, and the career service site on academic careers and career development can be found here (Raven access only).

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Do you need help with writing a Ph.D?

This website, recommended by Elizabeth Gurian, may be just what you were looking for:

The Fussy Professor Starbuck's Cookbook of Handy-Dandy Prescriptions for Ambitious Academic Authors or Why I Hate Passive Verbs and Love My Word Processor.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Is it necessary for research to have a social and economic impact?

Mary Beard, Professor of Classics at Cambridge who has a blog at the Times website, asks for commentary on the HEFCE Consultation exercise about research excellence, which, it is argued, is purely based on social and economic impact. Beard argues against this, and asks for public commentary in support of her position. As social scientists, some might say we should support her--that the arts and humanities still play a central and significant role in the development of knowledge, and should surely be funded to the same extent that our research should. But others may disagree. Thoughts?

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

BEN'S PRISON BL0G: Reconstructing Truth

I'm a big fan of Ben's Prison Blog and this post stands out as one of his best. He manages to combine an objective knowledge of the prison system, a subjective appreciation of what actually happens and a nicely cynical attitude towards the media's treatment of offenders. All written in an easy to read and well thought out style:
After several months of working out in the community for 4 days a week (unpaid, argh!), we can apply for home leave. These can last up to five days at a stretch. Don't be deceived by the "home leave" description. Rather than putting our feet up in front of the fire at home, cold beer in one hand and hot woman in the other, the reality is that we are forced to go to probation hostels...

As is standard these days, the Telegraph even found a "victims campaigner" to pitch in. Lyn Costello of Mothers Against Murder And Aggression (as opposed to all those mothers campaigning for butchery and mayhem), complains about these "holidays". She used that exact word. You can see what happened; the Telegraph phoned her, read her a paragraph with the key words - killers, rapists, holidays - and like a defective one armed bandit she spat them a quote straight back...

As one reads deeper into the story it becomes clear what this is really about. The figures for the number of prisoners having these "holidays" were released by the Conservative Party. Their mouthpiece, Dominic Grieve, is arguing that this all stinks of Labour incompetence. Whilst in favour of these temporary releases for long-termers to ease the transition into the community, Grieve is claiming that they are being let out solely to ease the prison overcrowding.

I assume Dominic Grieve is a reasonably bright chap, so I will explain to him why he is wrong. When a man goes on home leave, his cell remains empty. He moves straight back in on his return. It is not the case that an Open prison with 50 men on home leave will ship in 50 prisoners to fill those beds for the 4 days they are empty. It is clear to even the dumbest politico that these home leave releases have absolutely no effect on overcrowding, they are not connected in any way whatever. None. Zilch. Zero. Grieve may know this, but he should know it - he should have checked...
Click here for more: BEN'S PRISON BL0G: Reconstructing Truth

Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference 2010

Announcement: Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference 2010

The Australian and New Zealand Critical Criminology Conference for 2010 will be Co-Hosted by the School of Social Sciences at the University of Western Sydney and the Sydney Institute of Criminology at the University of Sydney Faculty of Law.

Dates: 1st and 2nd July 2010.

Venue: University of Sydney Faculty of Law, New Law School Building, Main Campus, Camperdown NSW.

The Conference will again be capped at 100 delegates with registration being essential. Further details and a call for papers will be announced early in 2010.

Dr Murray Lee / Director Institute of Criminology / Senior Lecturer in Criminology / Sydney Law School / University of Sydney / New Law Building F10, University of Sydney 2006 NSW / ph: (02) 9351 0443 / FAX: (02) 9351 0200

Article on job talks

There is a good article in the Chronicle of Higher Education which provides some useful advice on academic job interviews. The article is oriented toward American job seekers, but the advice could also be applicable in England.

Monday, 7 December 2009

Call for proposals: youth resistance

Call for proposals for a special issue of

The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Youth Resistance Revisited: New theories of youth negotiations of educational injustices
Special issue co-editors: Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang
1000 word proposals due March 1, 2010

Objective of the special issue
Paul Willis’ assertion of working class lads’ resistance to education and especially to
uneven educational practices sent ripples through the fields of education and sociology at
the publication of his book Learning to Labour in 1977. Now, more than thirty years
later, resistance continues to be a widely used lens through which to see and understand
the social contexts of communities and schools, and youth experiences in schooling, and
in education beyond schooling.

This peer-reviewed special issue in the International Journal of Qualitative Studies in
Education (QSE) will explore the possibilities and limitations of theories of youth
resistance in educational research, and present new and expanded theories of youth
responses to injustices in schooling. This special issue will challenge readers to think
about youth negotiations of educational injustices in ways that defy the ubiquitous
dichotomy of reproduction or resistance. Instead, authors will impart analyses that
characterize youth resistance as something beyond practices that are obliged to lead to
structural transformation and/or to educational mobility, although some forms of
resistance may in fact do so. Drawing from a range of discourses—including, but not
limited to, critical theory, political economy, decolonizing theory, queer theory, critical
race theory, dis/ability studies, and educational discourses that borrow from criminal
justice, health, and sociology—the articles will present research findings that complicate,
extend, and sometimes explode current conceptualizations of youth resistance.

The objective of this special issue is to build upon existing theories of youth resistance in
order to improve educational research and educational practice and policy. Featuring
qualitative studies in education that employ a diversity of methods including, but not
limited to, ethnography, participatory action research, group and individual interview,
and participatory survey, the articles will solder empirical research to theory, providing
on-the-ground examples of new or reclaimed theories of youth resistance in action. Each
article will discuss a new or expanded theory of youth negotiations of educational
injustice, with implications for teaching, learning, educational policy, and qualitative
research. The special issue will be multi- and interdisciplinary, relying upon a variety of
inquiry methods and epistemological frames.

Call for proposals
We are seeking proposals (1000 words, plus references) for this special issue on “youth
resistance revisited” for manuscripts that, acknowledging the educational,
methodological, and theoretical importance of (youth) resistance, will use the findings of
original research to deepen, extend, and expand the complexity of the concept. The
proposed manuscripts should fuse theory and practice of qualitative research. Proposals
should articulate a new or reclaimed framing of youth resistance, and present a
description of the study/ies, data, and theories that inform this framing. Authors should
detail implications for teaching, learning, educational policy, and/or qualitative research.
Priority will be given to proposals that offer compelling, innovative, or often-overlooked
ways of understanding the contexts and conditions within which youth negotiate, resist,
and sometimes reject schooling.

Final manuscripts will be 5,000 or 8,000 words, plus references.
Additional factors in our decisions to accept proposals will be geographical,
methodological, and epistemological diversity across the special issue as a whole.
Also in your proposal, indicate if you would be willing to review a manuscript submitted
for this special issue.

Send your proposal to Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang by March 1, 2010. You may also contact us with any questions.

Proposal and manuscript guidelines from QSE
Please write clearly and concisely, clearly stating and defining objectives and terms.
Arguments should be substantiated with well-reasoned supporting evidence.
For all manuscripts, gender-, race- and creed-inclusive language is mandatory. Sexist or
racist terms should not be used.

Manuscripts should conform to the style set forth in the Publications Manual of the
American Psychological Association (5th ed.) and be well edited.
An academic biography for each author of no more than 50 words should be included
with your proposal. Authors should include their full names, affiliations, postal addresses,
telephone numbers and e-mail addresses. Biographical notes should be contained on a
separate sheet and be located at the beginning of the manuscript.

Submission timeline
March 1, 2010 1000-word proposals due
April 1, 2010 Notification of acceptance
September 1, 2010 Manuscripts due
January 1, 2011 Reviews of manuscripts returned- notification of final acceptance
to issue
March 15, 2011 Final manuscripts due
September, 2011 Tentative Publication Date

Special issue co-editors contact information
Eve Tuck
Assistant Professor of Educational Foundations
Department of Educational Studies, School of Education
State University of New York at New Paltz
South Classroom Building, Room 111
800 Hawk Drive
New Paltz, NY 12561

K. Wayne Yang
Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies
Affiliated Professor, Urban Studies & Planning Program
University of California San Diego
9500 Gilman Dr. MC 0522
La Jolla, CA 92093-0522

Call for Papers: Royal Geographical Society

Location: Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) and Imperial College, London

First Call for Papers

Members of the geographical and related communities are invited to propose sessions or submit papers to open sessions for the RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2010. This three day event attracts more than 1200 participants from around the world presenting research papers spanning the breadth of the discipline. This year's conference theme is Confronting the Challenges of the Post-Crisis Global Economy and Environment; Chair of conference Professor Neil Wrigley, University of Southampton
You are invited to propose sessions with papers, or individual papers for open sessions. Sessions will be advertised on the Conference website.
Sessions will be 1 hour 40 minutes in length but the format is flexible; contributed papers, poster sessions, panel discussions, practitioner forums, or other innovative sessions or formats are encouraged. Most sessions will contain five x 20 minute papers (with time included in each for questions) or four x 20 minute papers with discussion / questions at the end. All sessions will be reviewed and approved by the Conference Planning Committee after 22 February.

Key dates:

· 1 December - Call for papers website to go live: Advertise a call for papers:
· 22 February - deadline for complete session and abstract submissions by Research Group / Independent session organisers to the Society
· 29 March - deadline for submission of abstracts to open sessions (to the RGS-IBG)

Job opportunity: young people in custody

External evaluation of U R Boss: Legal service shaped by young people in custody

The Howard League for Penal Reform is inviting expressions of interest to undertake the evaluation of U R Boss: Legal Service shaped by young people in custody.

We are looking for a small team or an individual researcher to undertake the external evaluation of our new 5 year programme of work which centres on the Howard League for Penal Reform’s legal service.

Closing date 14th December 2009. As this is a tight deadline, this will be taken into account when assessing the applications.

The details of the evaluation and how to apply can be found at

Young guest and doctoral researchers' annual scholarships for investigation and learning

Highly qualified Ph.D. students and younger researchers from some 50 countries may apply for grants for research stays lasting one to ten months during the academic year 2010-2011 to conduct research in Norway:


The Yggdrasil mobility programme promotes the internationalisation of Norwegian research by offering grants to international Ph.D. students and younger researchers in connection with research stays in Norway. The programme seeks to make Norway an attractive research destination for highly qualified international Ph.D. students and younger researchers in all subject areas, thus strengthening the Norwegian research communities involved.

Grant applications will be accepted from the following countries:
European countries: All countries, including all Council of Europe member states, except for the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Sweden).
Non-European countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico and South Africa.

This programme/activity normally accepts grant applications from:

- Ph.D. students admitted to an organised doctoral degree programme;
- Younger researchers who completed a Ph.D. degree not more than six years prior to submission of the grant application.

Applicants must be affiliated with a higher education and/or research institution in one of the countries covered under the programme.

See here for more details: Yggdrasil grants for research stays in Norway

How 'deviant' is murder if we used to eat each other?

Ancient site reveals signs of mass cannibalism

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Legal Subjectivity, Popular/Community Justice and Human Rights in Latin America

A conference being held at CRASSH might be of interest to some readers of this blog:

This conference aims to promote interdisciplinary debate between scholars from Law, Anthropology, Political Science and related fields in order to probe new constellations of popular/community justice, human rights and local forms of legal subjectivity in Latin America. In particular, the conference seeks to generate critical analysis by investigating discourses on rights and justice as these are variously understood, adopted, resisted and (re)constructed through processes of communal justice (e.g. community tribunals, vigilantism) and by various agencies and legal subjects in the context of different social, political, and cultural settings (e.g. community leaders, NGOs, institutions).
Dates: 22 and 23 January. Cost: £40/20. See here for more details and online registration.

Thanks to the PhD Blog for this:

It never fails to brighten up my day.

Monday, 30 November 2009

Podcast and video of Loic Wacquant talk

Loic Wacquant gave a talk at the LSE in October called 'Bringing the Penal State Back In,' and a video and audio version of this talk are now available on the LSE website. You can find the video here and the audio version here.

Call for papers: conference on childhood

Saturday 3rd July - Monday 5th July 2010
Mansfield College, Oxford, United Kingdom

Call for Papers
This inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary conference project seeks
to investigate and explore all aspects of childhood. The period of life
prior to adulthood is one of dramatic change and development of
physical, intellectual, psychological, and many other types of
characteristics. The nature of childhood and its significance as a
separate phase of live, however, is viewed quite differently in
different cultures and in different historical eras. This conference
will look at all aspects of the experience of childhood as well as the
social and cultural perceptions of children and childhood. We encourage
submissions on any theme to do with the nature of childhood, including,
but not limited to the ones listed below.

For more information, and how to submit papers, click here.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

New Book: Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster

Kelly Frailing, one of our Ph.D. students, has recently co-edited a book titled Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster in conjunction with her Master's advisor Dee Wood Harper:

The sudden disruption of the normal flow of human activity in the form of disaster gives rise to both pro-social and antisocial behavior. For some, disaster is an opportunity to take advantage of others’ misfortune and increased vulnerability. Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster has two principle objectives; to understand why and how crime occurs in the wake of disasters and how the criminal justice system responds to disasters and the crime that follows.

This volume is a collection of original essays by sociologists, criminologists and law enforcement professionals, most of whom have had first-hand experience with the impact of disaster on the criminal justice system. Part 1, Historical and Theoretical Aspects of Disaster and Crime, provides a discussion of crime and disaster in an historical context and proposes a typology that locates certain types of crime in the different phases of disaster. Part 2, Natural Disaster, Disorder and Crime, examines a variety of crimes, such as looting, robbery, drug dealing and fraud in the wake of disasters, with one chapter suggesting that some disasters themselves are crimes. Part 3, The Criminal Justice System Response to Disorder and Disaster, examines specific disasters as case studies from September 11, 2001, through Hurricane Katrina to Mumbai. The nation’s disaster response infrastructure also comes under close scrutiny.

Crime and Criminal Justice in Disaster is exceptionally timely considering the natural disasters which have occurred in the opening years of the 21st century and the ubiquity of the terror threat. These events have led to national and international concern for how the public sector in general and the criminal justice system in particular responds to disasters and crime. While designed primarily as a text for courses in criminal justice, criminology, homeland security and emergency management, the essays also have a broader audience appeal for readers interested in these issues.

See here for more details. It's published in 2010 so watch out, it looks like a very engaging, timely and, importantly, up-to-date collection.

Although this is probably too narrow a theme for this book, I'd be interested to know if there's anything about 'looting in the time of disaster'. Looting often features somewhere in the news when a disaster happens and it can often hold very different meanings. I have read two newspapers today- one of them said that there has been looting in Cockermouth in the aftermath of the floods and one said there hasn't. Has anyone ever done an analysis of the representations of looting in the media?

Psychology Summer Institute

July 19 - 25, 2009
Washington, DC
PSI provides educational, professional development, and mentoring experiences to advanced doctoral students of psychology and psychologists who are in the early stage of their careers. Participants are guided toward developing a grant proposal, postdoctoral fellowship, dissertation, treatment program, publication, or program evaluation project. All projects must focus on issues affecting ethnic minority communities.

Participants will receive one-on-one mentoring on their projects by a consultant. Expert faculty will present seminars on selected topics such as grant writing, publishing, and specific areas of research or service delivery. There will also be opportunities to network with representatives from federal agencies and foundations.

For more information, click here.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Gordon Brown's plans to reduce the budget deficit

Nick Robinson points out that Gordon Brown’s plans to implement laws to ensure that the budget deficit is halved will be seen as gestures which are worth little more than the paper they’re written on. This is, in my opinion, very true: what would the consequences be if the government failed? I guess the thinking is that there would be some kind of deterrence theory in action. So there would have to be some form of punishment and there would need to be some incentives too. Does anyone know what the punishment would be? The possibility of re-election would be an obvious incentive which begs the question, don’t MPs consider that to be sufficient to do good by their electorate?

What is more interesting to me is the use of the law to even do such a thing: it gives a whole new dimension to ‘governing through crime’ because the government is now planning on governing itself through crime. This could, I suppose, be expected from a government which has implemented more laws than any before it. The proposal also raises issues around the government’s belief in the power of crime to control behaviour as well as signifying and solidifying its belief in the potential of pre-emptive Orders which are supposed to control behaviour before it has even occurred, as seen in the very wide and very vague definition of anti-social behaviour. Finally, I wonder what would happen in terms of the victim’s charter if the government broke this new law and didn’t halve the budget deficit in the required period? If the victims are supposed to be at the heart of the criminal justice system and the government makes the whole electorate a victim, what happens then?

As this is the first bit of 'comment writing' on here, I think I’ll leave it there. Any comments anyone?

Recent publications by our students

Two of our students have recently published their work:

Elizabeth Gurian, whose work is about female serial offenders, has published an article in the International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology. The article provides information on female serial murderers who either work in a mixed-sex offending group or alone. Specifically, offender/victim characteristics, convictions and sentences are explored along with future research and implications for treatment. It can be found in the November issue issue of the journal (under the 'Online First' option).

Alexandra Cox, whose work is about young people charged with crimes, has written a short piece for the Huffington Post on the uses of neuroscience in juvenile justice.

Free trial for Sage Criminology journals


Free Online Trial to SAGE Journals in Criminology and Criminal Justice November 1 - December 31, 2009 By registering for this free trial, you will have access to these journals until December 31, 2009. Sign up now!

* Crime & Delinquency * Child Maltreatment * Crime, Media, Culture * Criminal Justice and Behavior * Criminal Justice Policy Review * Criminal Justice Review * Criminology & Criminal Justice * European Journal of Criminology * Feminist Criminology * Homicide Studies * International Criminal Justice Review * International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology * Journal of Correctional Health Care * Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice * Journal of Interpersonal Violence * Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency * Law, Culture and the Humanities * Police Quarterly * Probation Journal * Punishment & Society * The Prison Journal * Sexual Abuse * Social & Legal Studies * Theoretical Criminology * Trauma, Violence & Abuse * Violence Against Women * Youth Justice * Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice

Click here to register:

Call for Papers: Social Policy Association Conference

Call for Postgraduates,
Social Policy Association Conference, 5-7 July 2010, University of Lincoln
Today we announce exciting changes to the Social Policy Association Conference!
This year, the conference will include events for postgraduates.
We invite postgraduates to attend the conference and to participate in a range of events. You can:

• develop a poster presentation,
• present your research in a symposium
• get together with peers to submit a proposal for a symposium
• take part in a teaching and learning workshop,
• come along to networking events with peers and established scholars.

You can submit a proposal to present your research

Proposals will be reviewed by a Programme Committee prior to acceptance. The closing date for the submission of abstracts and proposals is Friday 19th March 2010.
You will be asked to mark your abstract submission:

• ‘Postgraduate Symposium’
• ‘Postgraduate Poster Presentation’, or
• ‘Postgraduate Networks’

and email to
There will be a 50% subsidy in registration fees for Social Policy Association (SPA) or British Sociological Association (BSA) members. Details will be made available on the conference website:
You must be a member of the SPA or BSA to present your work and to take advantage of reduced conference fees.
Up to £40 travel expenses are available to all SPA postgraduate members on a first come first served basis, see the website for further details:

Call for Papers: Deviance and Social Control

From 11-17 July in Gothenberg, Sweden, the International Sociological Association will hold its 17th World Congress. One of the panels for ISA Research Committee 29, "Deviance and Social Control" is described below. If you would like to present a paper on this panel, please let me know by December 1st, 2009. Please submit your paper abstract by email directly to Abstracts should be approximately 250 words. Please be sure to provide the full name, affiliation, phone, fax, and email address for all authors.

Session 4: International criminal justice policymaking: The relevance of socio-criminological research
Organizer: Rosemary Barberet, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, USA,,
This session will explore the relevance of socio-criminological research to international organizations involved in criminal justice policymaking, such as the United Nations (including the World Health Organization and the World bank), the European Union, the Organization of American States, the International Criminal Court, INTERPOL, the Council of Europe, and many others. What are the policy implications of the growing body of internationalized socio-criminological research and how might they be linked in to the activities of these intergovernmental policymaking organizations?

The full call for RC 29 can be found at:
Information on the congress itself is at:

Thanks and please feel free to forward this message to any other interested parties.


We've created this site as space to share ideas, events, and resources for and about students at the Institute of Criminology at Cambridge. We welcome comments, feedback, and advice!