PEER REVIEWED CRIMINOLOGY ARTICLES
By Ian Cummins, Salford University, Dr Marian Foley, Manchester Met. University and Dr Martin King, Manchester Met. University
Haggerty (2009) argues that serial killing is essentially a phenomenon of modernity. One of the key features of modernity is the role of mass media and the rise of celebrity culture. He suggests that there is a symbiotic relationship between the media and serial killers. This paper will use the newspaper reporting of the June 2013 appearance of Ian Brady at a Mental Health Review Tribunal hearing to explore the nature of the relationship between the media, high profile cases and notorious offenders. The paper uses bricolage as a research method to explore the inter-connectedness of real events and their media and fictional representations. There is a loop between fictional representations and real life events. The authors argue that the focus of such cultural processes is almost solely on the motivations of the perpetrators of these appalling crimes. The result is to obscure the real nature of these crimes and marginalise the suffering of victims and their families. The MHRT raised very important moral, philosophical, ethical and legal questions about the nature of mental illness, crime and punishment. The consideration of these wider issues was pushed to the margins as the reports of the hearing took on the tone of Gothic fiction concentrating on the “appearance” of Brady. The reporting of the hearing is an example of what Seltzer (1997) termed modern “wound culture” an addiction to violence.
By Dr. Max Lowenstein, Bournemouth University, UK
The judicial response to the riot context via their sentencing remarks has an important, yet hitherto unexplained emotive meaning. It would appear that such remarks have repeatedly focused upon negative emotive sentiments, which seek to public condemn and blame the riot offender. Part one qualitatively considers the judicial selection of riot sentencing remarks made within riot case law precedent. Positive and negative sentiments have been counted and the legal tests and principles behind their selection analyzed. Part two considers further what the common sentiments expressed within sentencing remarks may mean based upon an academic literature review. The conclusions reveal that the English judiciary have commonly remarked upon rioters negatively, regardless of their level of participation. They have rejected offender mitigation when presented and have sought to promote the preservation of civilized society from the harm and threat caused by rioters. The statutory sentencing principles of punishment, deterrence are highly detectable, public protection and victim reparation moderately detectable, whilst offender reform and rehabilitation is rarely detectable. For the future, it would seem prudent that the predominantly negative emotive remarks expressed by the English judiciary are better understood. Sentencing case law may provide common reasons for the rejection of sentencing appeals, but are limited in the extent that they can reveal the related subjective emotions. Qualitative inquiries such as judicial interviews are well placed to further investigate the shared meaning of these emotions, which in turn, can lead to a better engagement with the public whom the judiciary serve.
By Berit Wigerfelt & Anders S Wigerfelt, Malmo University, Sweden
Hundreds of Roma have been murdered in hate crime attacks in recent years in several European states. Even though anti-gypsyism has many common characteristics, its expression can differ in different countries. Despite the Nordic countries having recently become a “migration hot spot”, when it comes to Roma, very few studies of hate crimes against Roma have been conducted in Scandinavia. This article, which is mostly based on in-depth interviews, is therefore an important contribution to the research field of hate crimes against Roma. The purpose of the article is to examine and exploit Roma experiences of everyday harassment, discrimination and hate crime and to discuss the usefulness of the hate crime concept in the work to combat anti-gypsyism.
By Dr. Joanna Jamel, Kingston University, UK
The current qualitative study focuses on the print media and its representation of male rape. Male rape victim–focused newspaper articles were identified using the Lexis Nexis Executive database. The content of these English language newspaper articles were analysed regarding the gender of victims and journalists. Discourse analysis was used to identify the narrative style (judgmental, sympathetic or myth-laden). The newspaper articles were from regional and national newspapers from countries such as Ireland, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States and South Africa. The period covered by these articles was from 1986 to 2004, thus pre and post the introduction of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994 in England and Wales which was the legal definition of rape used in this study. The key findings are (i) that male rape victims are treated more sympathetically than female rape victims who have historically been described using a myth-laden and judgmental narrative style by the press) at a parallel time frame regarding the level of social and academic awareness of the phenomenon of male rape (thirty years ago), (ii) that the term “rape victim” is treated as inherently female and (iii) the gender of the reporter did not influence the narrative style of the article. It is suggested that this may be due to lessons learned as a result of feminist criticisms of past misrepresentations and stereotypical portrayals of female rape victim in the press hence a more sensitive approach is now being taken by print journalists.
By Imran Awan, Birmingham City University, UK
The UK Defence Review in 2010 shed light on the real concerns that Britain could be facing a new threat from cyber-terrorists. Indeed, extremist groups and organisations are increasingly using cyberspace for terrorist purposes and as a result the role of the Internet has meant that terrorist are able to play the role of hostile actors willing to cause mass carnage and destruction through technological means. This threat has led to many questions for example, what the term cyber-terrorism means? The paper examines the case for two schools of thought. It concludes that the current nature of terrorism provides more support for the Weimann argument, but that things could change if terrorists are given more appropriate training and skills in cyberspace.
By Jordan Cashmore, Nottingham Trent University, UK
The fear of crime phenomenon is widely documented and studied in criminology; from the tools that formulate and amplify it to the effects it has on the individual. It is unusual, then, that prior to the last couple of years, few have commented on the positive effects of the fear of crime. More confounding still is the fact that, despite many studies being conducted on the effect of the media on fear of crime, scholars have thus far failed to acknowledge the media’s role in the possibly positive, crime reducing effects of the fear of crime. This paper attempts to make a small step in redeeming this failing in criminology, and proposes a ‘Fear of Crime-Media Feedback Model’, whereby the media influences levels of fear in its audience and affects their routine activity, thereby affecting their exposure to potentially victimising situations by encouraging avoidance behaviour; influencing people to remain in their home as opposed to venturing onto the streets. While the model is currently hypothetical, further research into its plausibility as a crime reducing tool is proposed, potentially providing a method of reducing victimisation risk in the public with use of crime media.
By Mike Sutton and Philip Hodgson, both at Nottingham Trent University, UK
The widely held criminological ‘knowledge’ that foot patrol beat policing is ineffective at either arresting offenders or reducing crime is substantially supported by research conducted by Clarke and Hough (1984), which makes the claim that: ‘…a patrolling policeman in London could expect to pass within 100 yards of a burglary in progress, roughly once every eight years but not necessarily catch the burglar or even realise that the crime was taking place.’
This claim has been repeated, apparently unquestioningly, as though it is based upon veracious empirical research evidence from policing research in the field, in at least 45 publications, which include scholarly books, peer reviewed journal articles, research reports and police magazines. Clarke’s and Hough’s claim remains influential to the extent that it is effectively treated as ‘criminological commonsense’. In fact, the claim is based upon pencil and paper mathematical exercise involving three questionable premises. Two of these are disclosed and they are accompanied by a third, which we believe a reader might reasonably infer to be implicit. In this paper, we question all three assumptions and therefore question the veracity of its widespread use in supporting the accepted criminological wisdom about the predestined ineffectiveness of routine police foot patrol.
Russian Police and Transition to Democracy: Lessons from One Empirical Study
By Margarita Zernova, University of Hull, UK
The paper discusses public experiences of policing in today’s Russia, public attitudes towards police resulting from such experiences and wider social implications of those attitudes. At the basis of the discussion is an empirical study which has been carried out by the author. The study has found abundant evidence of distrust towards – and fear of – police by contemporary Russians. It is argued that the corrupt, brutal and unaccountable police who lack legitimacy in the eyes of citizens trigger public responses that may help to deepen social inequalities, subvert the process of establishing the rule of law and impede the Russian transition to democracy. Moreover, if citizens view the police as illegitimate – indeed, believe that the very state agency designed to protect them actually presents threats to their security – the legitimacy of the entire state structure is at risk.
A Measure of Hirschi’s Construct of Attachment in a Variety of Close Interpersonal Relationships as A Source of Social Control
By Alison Marganski, Virginia Wesleyan College, USA
This article examines a measure of affectional attachment derived from Hirschi’s (1969) social control theory and pertinent to other criminological theories: the Criminological Scale of Affectional Attachment (CSAA). The CSAA looks at the most critical element of a social bond, namely attachment, in a variety of close interpersonal relationships (i.e., parent, sibling, peer and intimate partner). In particular, it considers several dimensions of attachment and assesses their reliability in providing a comprehensive measure of affectional attachment for each relationship. Unlike existing attachment scales, the CSAA is not psychologically driven but rather motivated by and framed for criminological research. It is the first scale of its kind aimed at providing a simple and standard means of investigating attachment as a criminological construct. It is also one of the first to allow for testing multiple relationships rather than focusing on one or two alone. Evaluation of the CSAA reveals that internal consistency reliability is demonstrated. The CSAA is particularly relevant for studies interested in social control and crime and can be modified to fit any interpersonal relationship.
Restricting Criminogenic Information: Toward a Balanced Approach to Limiting the First Amendment in Favor of Crime Control
By Kathryn E Kuhn, PhD and M. Dyan McGuire, PhD., J.D., Saint Louis University, USA
Although the First Amendment is an important bulwark against tyranny, the dissemination of information that provides “how-to” guidance to would-be criminals does not protect freedom and serves no legitimate purpose. While there are a number of types of speech like obscenity which are already without First Amendment protection, the Supreme Court needs to go further and announce an explicit exclusion for criminogenic information, defined here to mean information detailing “how-to” “successfully” commit a crime. With the proliferation of this type of information via the internet, it is more important than ever that law enforcement be empowered to suppress its dissemination and punish its creation and possession at the earliest opportunity in order to protect the public from the harm such material can wreak.
‘Not Another Football Hooligan Story’?
Learning From Narratives of ‘True Crime’ and Desistance
By Emma Poulton, Durham University, UK
This article discusses the value of using cultural representations of crime and criminal justice to extend mainstream criminological knowledge on desistance from crime. The article uses biographical interviews to explore the ‘true crime’ life-story of former ‘football hooligan’, Cass Pennant, as (re)presented in his autobiography (CASS) and a film of the same name. It is argued that CASS is ‘not another football hooligan story’, but a multi-dimensional narrative about identity, belonging and redemption. The article argues that analyses of ‘true crime’ autobiographies and their film adaptations (especially when complimented with biographical research interviews) provide an alternative lens through which to understand the stages of a ‘criminal career’ and experiences of the criminal justice system. From analysis of auto/biographical narratives of ‘true crime’ we can learn about the motivations for involvement in deviant behaviour, trajectories of crime, reasons for recidivism, epiphanal moments and processes of desistance. Consequently, the ‘true crime’ narrative turn offers us a valuable means of understanding life-course desistance.
By Susie Atherton, UK
The presence and impact of ‘police culture’ has been scrutinized both on the streets (Sherman, 1980; Smith and Gray, 1983; Reiner, 1985; Chan, 1997; Loftus 2010) and in the confines of the police canteen (Waddington, 1999). The traits of conservatism, suspicion, cynicism, sense of mission, machismo and pragmatism (Reiner, 1985) among police officers are widely acknowledged, but still there are debates as to the impact such traits may have on operational policing. More recently, media representations of policing have also been examined in the context of police culture, specifically in relation to fictional depictions which compare the British police past and present (Garland and Bilby, 2011). Police culture has been cited as an organizational influence which impedes reform (Loftus, 2010) but caution over its impact on behaviour has been noted, in relation to the distinction between patrol officers and those in management positions (Chan, 1997). The internet can be an important tool for researching distinct populations (Hine, 2000) and this paper explores one such population, namely commentators (presenting themselves as police officers) on policing themed computer-mediated-communications, or ‘blogs.’ Such blogs may present a forum in which ‘cop culture’ as it is understood is widely expressed, possibly due to a key feature being anonymity and freedom of expression. Whilst acknowledging issues of authenticity, the continuing presence of police culture characteristics within these blogs again raises questions about the impact they may have on operational policing, or whether such forums must be viewed as an important outlet for serving officers.
An Essay in Honour of Dr David Ford
By Paul Taylor, Cassandra Ogden and Karen Corteen, Department of Social Studies & Counselling, University of Chester, UK
Tobacco smoking is a contentious issue nationally and internationally. These issues of contention are usually in response to observations of tobacco smoking taking place in civil society, with a considerable neglect to the issues surrounding smoking within closed institutional environments. This paper provides a critical realist analysis of tobacco smoking in prisons. It utilises a framework derived from a critical realist study of smoking and cessation amongst lower socio-economic groups. This paper suggests that there is much to explore and learn about the unique social environment that the prisoners find themselves within in relation to smoking, smoking bans and smoking cessation programmes. Three key areas are addressed in this analysis; the cultural status of the prisoner, the policing of tobacco and the cost. The authors contend that there remains a contradiction with regard to how to manage tobacco regulation in the secure estate whilst attempting to support prisoners with a smoking cessation agenda that neglects the reality of these smokers’ positions.
By Angus Nurse, Lecturer in Criminology and Member of the Centre for Applied Criminology at Birmingham City University
Green criminology applies a broad green perspective to environmental harms, ecological justice, and the study of environmental laws and criminality. Within the green perspective, many NGOs argue for stronger wildlife laws and a more punitive regime, yet the reality is that UK wildlife laws are broadly sufficient, given their purpose as conservation rather than criminal justice legislation. This paper critically evaluates debates on the need for a more punitive wildlife enforcement regime. First, its analysis of the wildlife law enforcement regime in the UK reveals that in practice enforcement rather than legislative deficiencies are the problem. As a result, calls for tougher laws and sentencing are unlikely to be effective without corresponding improvements in the enforcement regime. Secondly it argues that NGOs operating within the wildlife crime arena consider wildlife crime primarily from an environmental, conservation, or animal rights perspective, rather than considering criminological theory, explanations of crime and ideology. This paper argues that while there is scope to review UK wildlife law, inherent failures in the existing enforcement regime and policy perspectives that underpin it need to be addressed before effective wildlife law enforcement can be achieved.
Moving into Social Housing and the Dynamics of Difference: Neighhbours from Hell with Nothing to Lose
By Carol Hayden, Professor of Applied Social Research at the University of Portsmouth and Asher Nardone, ASB survivor
This article reports on a single case study of anti-social behaviour focused on a household with a severely disabled child. The case is presented as an analysis of the experience of the adult member of the household targeted, who provided detailed documentation to support her verbal account of the experience of the victimisation of her family. The case has been the subject of a great deal of media coverage, as well as an independent Home Office review. Comparisons are made with the Pilkington case, in which a mother killed herself and her disabled daughter, following years of being the target of anti-social behaviour.
Evaluation of the Lexington (Fayette County) Kentucky Juvenile Drug Court Program
By Arthur Hayden, Assistant Professor at Kentucky State University, USA
Juvenile offending remains a concern in society, whether the concern is real or perceived. Although national data indicate that juvenile offending rose significantly in the 1980s through the mid-1990s, the rates of offending overall have since leveled off and decreased. According to Knoll and Sickmund (2010), this pattern is the result of the trends of various offense categories combined. However, one category, drug offenses, remains persistently high despite a recent decrease in the number of arrests and cases processed in the juvenile courts. The implications for these offenders and society are many, including academic difficulties, health-related consequences, poor peer and family relationships, mental health issues, violence, and economic costs.
As a consequence, many jurisdictions have implemented juvenile drug courts (JDC) to provide comprehensive wrap-around services to reduce criminal behavior and co-occurring substance abuse. The purpose of this study was to examine these outcomes in criminal offending and substance use for one of the first juvenile drug courts in Kentucky, implemented in 2003 and located in Lexington, Fayette County.
Social Safety Net or Social Hammock? Applying Deterrence Theory to Reduce the Severity of the Food Stamp Fraud Crisis in America
By Billy Long, Ph.D., Department of Criminal Justice and Karen Hiltz, M.B.A., Department of Business, both at the School of Social Sciences, Ferrum College, Ferrum, USA
Due to massive government debt in the U.S., serious attempts are being made to cut budgets, particularly programs that are fraught with waste, fraud, and abuse. Food stamp fraud, while historically ignored in the U.S., will soon become a target for budget cutting and increased law enforcement. This crime, as well as the perpetrators who commit it, are compatible with the propositions of deterrence theory. It is argued here that given the nature of this crime, enhanced sanctions can reduce its frequency and severity. Deterrence theory is outlined and policy implications are discussed.
By Dr. Theo Gavrielides, Founder & Director, Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS), Visiting Professorial Research Fellow Panteion University Greece, Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Social Sciences Department, Open University, UK and Visiting Scholar, Justice Studies Department Mount Royal University, Canada.
Restorative practices now appeal to the contemporary politician. Policies and practices are being reformed using the paradigm of restorative justice. However, little research has been done on its historical roots. Many have even claimed that restorative practices do not have a history at all. Through a review of historical and contemporary sources, this article challenges this claim. The paper provides a brief historical account of restorative practices stretching from the acephalous societies until the 1970s. Four eras are identified in the fall and rise of restorative justice through time. A historical debate and further academic research on restorative justice is warranted. The implications of a more informed understanding of the history of restorative practices are significant for their implementation in contemporary society.
By Dr. Shun-Yung Kevin Wang, Assistant Professor of Criminology, University of South Florida St. Petersburg, USA and Dr. Wilson Huang, Professor of Criminal Justice, Valdosta State University, Valdosta, USA
As far back as the early 1990s, the Internet was argued to be a unique medium showing the fastest speed of diffusion in human history (Nguyen and Alexander, 1996). Today, there are very few people whose lives are not affected beneficially and/or harmfully by the technology of the Internet era. On the positive side, the ability to share and exchange information instantaneously has provided unprecedented benefits in the areas of education, commerce, entertainment and social interaction. On the negative side, it has created increasing opportunities for the commission of crimes – information technology has enabled potential offenders to commit large-scale crimes with almost no monetary cost and much lesser risk of being caught. Compared to perpetrators of traditional economic-motivated crimes (e.g., burglaries, larcenies, bank robberies), online fraudsters are relatively free of worry from directly encountering law enforcement and witnesses. The authors aim to examine identity theft from an analytic angle with a focus on the expanded versatilities of this contemporary crime. In the present article, the mechanism of identifying an individual is first discussed, followed by the definition and typology of identity theft. Elements and methods of identity theft will be deconstructed for classification, and subsequent discussions will be emphasized on recent variations in online fraud. The study will conclude with the implications of the close relations between identity theft and the fast growing Internet, and suggestions for improved means of identity protection.
By Dr Stacy Banwell, The University of Greenwich, London, UK
This article analyses the conflicting narratives surrounding the case of convicted Canadian offender Karla Homolka. As both a victim and a perpetrator of violent crime Karla’s actions are positioned precariously between activity and passivity. It is precisely because of this blurring of boundaries - between agency and victimization - that her case has received widespread critical discussion. Despite attempts to ‘recuperate’ her narrative (Morrissey, 2003; Thompson and Ricard, 2009), Karla still presents us with a paradox. There is a need then to unpack the relationship between Karla’s victimization (non-agency) and her criminal culpability (agency). This paper will consider whether or not Primo Levi’s (1988) concept of ‘gray zones’ can resolve this paradox.
By Adam Trahan, University of North Texas, USA
Graffiti has been an important cultural phenomenon throughout history. However, research has yet to explore how the characteristics of the medium itself influence the graffiti for which it serves as a backdrop. One of the most unique mediums in which graffiti regularly appears is public restrooms, which offer potential graffitists almost complete anonymity. This study analyzed the content and communicative features of 323 graffito in public restrooms and their relation to the nature of the space and larger socio-cultural values. The results show that no particular ideological paradigm is predominant among the graffiti. Rather, the anonymity of the medium acts to preserve an ongoing ideological debate where identity is formed and reframed throughout.
By Dr Steven Downing, University of Ontario, Canada
In this study the author uses participant observation to examine the dynamics of formal and informal social control within an online game as they relate to the formation and control of deviant and criminal behaviors within this setting. This examination draws theoretically on the concepts of organic and mechanical solidarities, referencing various examples of social control constructs within the specific online setting, and drawing conclusions regarding on and offline subcultural structures and deviance more broadly. In the observed setting, a subgroup of players who regularly steal from other players serve to illustrate a preference for informal social control among deviant actors in virtual settings. Further findings suggest an interaction between formal and informal social control that results in a dynamic reciprocity between control mechanisms within subcultures both online and offline, and furthermore that these dynamics are especially important in the formation of deviance. Methodological and Theoretical implications are discussed, emphasizing the important opportunity for criminology to harness online settings as a site for studying crime and deviance.
By Professor Majid Yar, University of Hull, UK
Over the past three decades, an on-going debate has developed around the ways and extent to which the hierarchical, state-led provision of security and policing has been displaced by a move toward a polycentric, network-oriented mode of governance. This paper, firstly, analytically reconstructs the debate, suggesting that it is characterised by descriptive concordance, explanatory confluence, and normative dissonance. In other words, the major area of contention has been around the social and political implications of the State’s decentring by a networked provision of security, a transition that is accepted as having actually taken place. It is argued, secondly, that the debate has neglected to some considerable extent the inherent functional (as opposed to normative) limitations of networked governance, and that all parties to the debate may have been somewhat precipitous in accepting that such modes for delivering security can be functionally efficacious. Drawing on social theoretical explorations of ‘governance failure’, I identify three distinctive failure tendencies inherent in nodal networks, and evaluate their implications for the wider debate on the future of security provision.
Neighbourhood Influences on Fear of Crime and Victimization in Sweden: A Review of the Crime Survey Literature
By Caroline Mellgren, Department of Youth and Community Studies, Malmo University, Sweden
Seeking to address neighbourhood characteristics that influence individual outcomes is continuously built into public policy in a variety of policy areas. If the design of neighbourhood social interventions is informed by empirical knowledge then they may prove be more cost effective than interventions that target individuals. The adequacy of the evidence to support such interventions is however the subject of much international debate. This paper examines current criminological ‘knowledge’ in this area with particular reference to the accumulated knowledge base in Sweden, which has never before been assessed.
By Mark E. Kann, Department of Political Science, University of Southern California, USA
There were few clear rules governing the policing of prostitution in the early United States. Discretion was decisive. Prostitutes who were poor and black were the most vulnerable to arrest. State and local officials clearly had the authority to police all commercial sex but generally chose to tolerate it most of the time, and sometimes found themselves defending the property rights of commercial sex businesses. Although many reformers worked hard to make prostitution a high-priority public issue, neither the majority of citizens nor the average political official heeded them other than on a periodic basis. Two factors explain the vast gulf between legal authorization to police prostitution and extremely limited enforcement. One factor involved the male public’s belief that prostitution was morally wrong but was in itself no urgent matter. That was because the ancient idea of male sex-right persisted into nineteenth-century America. The other factor was that the male officials who staffed the criminal justice systems of the nation and the states simply refused to police the men who patronized prostitution. Occasionally, they policed the women who worked in the commercial sex industry. The overall message of nineteenth-century American criminal justice systems was that women and men were equally responsible for licentiousness, prostitution, and brothels but male officials used their discretion to ensure that only women were vulnerable to the arrests, prosecution, and punishments for sex crimes.
By Ian Marshand Gaynor Melville both at Liverpool Hope University, UK.
The term moral panic has been widely adopted both by the mass media and in everyday usage to refer to the exaggerated social reaction caused by the activities of particular groups and/or individuals. Such activities are invariably seen (at the time at least) as major social concerns and the media led reaction magnifies and widens the ‘panic’ surrounding them. This review starts by considering Stan Cohen’s seminal work on and analysis of moral panics – indeed it was his initial research in the early 1970s that popularized the term itself – and looks at Jock Young’s almost contemporaneous study of drug users. More recent studies that have reflected on and attempted to refine Cohen’s work, including Young’s revisiting of the notion that moral panics ‘translate fantasy into reality’, are highlighted as is the relationship between ‘signal crimes’ (Innes 2003 and 2004) and moral panics. It then considers some historical and contemporary examples of moral panics surrounding some quite different activities (and perpetrators of them) – in particular, garotting in mid-Victorian England, ‘hoodies’ and paedophilia. The review concludes that there are key elements to moral panics and that these panics are the result of real events and actual behaviour and cannot be dismissed as myths.
The Role of Social Cognition in the Development of the Criminal Career
By Dr. Marilyn Clark, Department of Youth and Community Studies, University of Malta
Through an exploration of their narratives, this paper examines how social information processing styles among young Maltese men may fail to protect offenders from pressures to offend and consequently contribute to criminal career progression and increased commitment to criminality. The paper concludes that social cognitive distortions in the form of crime supportive attitudes, cognitive processing during the commission of illegal behavior and post offence neutralizations, or ‘excuses’ for illegal behavior, have an important role to play in the pursuit of a criminal career. This exploration of the role of interpersonal cognition throws light on the development of criminality to reveal important avenues for intervention.
By Dr. Karen Harrison, Lecturer in Law, Law School, University of Hull, UK and Anouska Tamony, Student, Bristol Law School, University of the West of England, UK.
In relation to the use of solitary confinement with death row inmates, death row phenomenon and death row syndrome are two concepts which are slowly gaining ground in international circles. Death row phenomenon is used to describe the harmful effects of death row conditions, including exposure to extended periods of solitary confinement and the mental anxiety that prisoners experience whilst waiting for their death, whilst death row syndrome is used to describe the consequential psychological illness that can occur as a result of death row phenomenon. This article looks at the meaning of these two concepts, the ways in which they have begun to enter into judicial opinion and questions the potential effect they may have on the legality of capital sentences. The article also briefly considers the legitimacy of these concepts as medical conditions and assesses whether they are instead another example of the medicalization of morals.
By Konstadinos Maras, University of Tübingen, Germany.
Since the 1990s there has been an ongoing discourse on and increased efforts against corruption. Besides the proliferation of research activities, governments, public authorities and other institutional actors have been provided with recommendations and policies meant either to confront the problem head on or to establish rules and counter-measures to curb its further growth. Institutional anticorruption action has at the same time been assisted by the research and field work of numerous non-governmental organisations.
By Dr. Jo R.J. Davies, Rhondda Cynon Taf and Merthyr Tydfil Educational and Child Psychology Service and
Dr. Joanna Adler and Professor Anthony H. Goodman, both at Middlesex University, UK.
A qualitative case study approach was taken to evaluate three areas of early intervention Family Group Conferencing (FGC): the preparation procedure; the young people’s understanding of FGC and finally, the consistency of outcomes. Participants consisted of four families and two practitioners who had taken part in an inner-city early intervention project. Findings indicated that the preparation procedure contained some gaps. The children generally appeared to understand why FGC was necessary. The families developed some dependence on the project worker despite indications that some of the practitioners were more stigmatising of the families than may have been predicted.
Trash Talk: Fee Evasion and Techniques of Neutralization by Older Women in Response to Rising Garbage Collection Fees
By Dr. Virginia McGovern, Professor of Criminal Justice at Mount Saint Mary’s University, USA.
Trash and crime are not ordinarily mentioned in the same breath, but rising costs to dispose of rubbish are leading some to engage in criminal behavior. Costs for rubbish disposal have become much more expensive recently due to many factors, including rising land prices, strict environmental regulations, and host fees paid to localities to accept landfills. Add to this the current world-wide economic crisis which has left many scrambling just to make ends meet. This is especially true for older individuals on a fixed income. These individuals, however, are creative economic actors. Two ways some innovative individuals have found to pare rubbish removal costs are fee avoidance and undesirable diversion. In this project, older women found ways to cut their household costs by ‘sharing’ rubbish collection costs with neighbors. Unfortunately, for the actors, this behavior is a crime. While it is unlikely that the women trash sharers in this study will ever find themselves in prison for fee avoidance or borough ordinance violations, the increase in this type of economic coping strategy should be of interest to criminologists. As the population ages and inequality increases, many older females may feel that they must break the law in order to afford basic services. Economic stimulus packages that do not address the needs of older Americans will only exacerbate the problems of older Americans.
By Dr. Loretta Trickett, Senior Lecturer and Researcher, Nottingham Law School, Nottingham Trent University, UK.
Violence between young men, particularly resulting from the emergence of a so called ‘gun and knife culture’, is currently subject to extensive media coverage in UK . Alongside this there has been increased anxiety about both the scale and impact of bullying in schools. These issues form part of a more generalised concern about men and boys in Britain often referred to as a ‘crisis of masculinity’. This article examines findings from research with male respondents about their relationship with hegemonic masculinity and bullying whilst at school and makes suggestions as to what can be done to tackle abusive behaviour amongst boys and young men.
By Dr. Amanda Holt, Senior Lecturer, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth, UK.
This short paper draws on data from a recent study which explored parents’ experiences of the youth justice process, including their own receipt of a Parenting Order as a result of their child’s involvement in offending. Whilst talking about their experiences, both mothers and fathers described experiences of ‘parent abuse’ and, drawing on extracts from these accounts, this paper reflects on the appropriateness of a dominant youth justice policy agenda - realised through the Parenting Order – in responding to such experiences. In doing so, it questions what alternatives there may be for responding adequately to ‘parent abuse’ and suggests that a new conceptualisation of the issue is necessary before adequate support and resources can be put in place for such parents and their families.
By Mike Sutton, Reader in Criminology and Cecile Wright, Professor of Sociology both at Nottingham Trent University, UK.
White supremacists and the Far Right political movement in the UK have, had considerable success in spreading their messages through Web sites. Some of these Web sites clearly contribute to an enabling environment for racially motivated violence in our towns and cities and possibly help to underpin also the rise of, and support for, the Far Right in the UK and elsewhere in Europe. From a position that acknowledges the enduring issue of white hegemony in Western societies, this paper provides a number of research-based recommendations for further research and future policy and practice in tackling white supremacist racial hatred on the Net.
The German Hate Crime Concept: An Account of the Classification and Registration of Bias-Motivated Offences and the Implementation of the Hate Crime Model Into Germany's Law Enforcement System
By Alke Glet, Criminological Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law, Freiburg, Germany.
In the United States, hate crime has been on the criminological agenda since the 1980s. In 2001, Germany also made an attempt to adopt a similar concept as part of a reformed police registration system for so-called ‘politically motivated offences’, focusing predominantly on right-wing extremist crime. However, hate crime is a category which is open to selective interpretations and subjective judgments and to date there are still large empirical deficiencies regarding the identification and classification processes applied by the German police. High levels of ambiguity, uncertainty and arbitrariness initiate a debate surrounding the validity of official hate crime statistics in Germany and reveal a large potential for conflict when it comes to the definition and registration of xenophobic violence and other forms of hate-motivated crime. In this respect, it seems indispensable to carefully evaluate the implementation of the hate crime concept into Germany’s law enforcement system and to analyze current trends and developments, in order to provide valid data on the qualitative and quantitative nature of hate crime incidents in German society.
By Ed Pollock, Lecturer in Criminology at Sheffield Hallam University, UK.
Researching crime online is a new frontier for criminologists, psychologists and sociologists. This paper explains and describes a virtual ethnographic study of white supremacists using a method best described as covert, invisible, non-participatory observation. The paper explains how difficult ethical issues were addressed in the study and points the way forward for further research in this area.
By Laura Knight and Mike Stephens, Department of Social Sciences, Loughborough University, UK
The Prison Service’s increased emphasis on security and control has generated many obstacles for the effective delivery of psychiatric care to mentally disordered prisoners. Such prisoners do not have the necessary mental strength or coping mechanisms to deal with the ‘prison culture’ and this is particularly so for women, young people and ethnic minorities. Conflicting ideologies between the prison regime and the NHS mean that the mental health services available to prisoners are limited. Therapeutic communities offer a potential solution to the dire situation the Prison Service finds itself in.
A Period in Custody: Menstruation and the Imprisoned Body
By Catrin Smith, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University, Australia
This article, based upon pilot work conducted in a closed women’s prison in England, explores women prisoners’ own experiences and accounts of menstruation and the complex role of situation in determining reactions to menstrual symptoms and to menstrual change. Socialised to see menstruation in negative terms, women prisoners tend to perceive the experience of menstruation in prison as a particularly uncomfortable intrusion into their lives. It is an imposition which cannot, however, be accommodated in private. Negative expectations and experiences of menstruation in prison may influence many women prisoners to focus on its associated unpleasant symptoms. Here, imprisonment may well set up the circumstances in which women come to regard themselves as suffering, which will, in turn, determine whether or not they help-seek. The findings suggest a high level of menstrual distress in women prisoners and a high rate of use of prison health services for menstrual complaints. However, there is also evidence to suggest incongruous referral behaviour, a major cause of which seems to be unease or dissatisfaction with prison health care and, in particular, male doctors.
Neither Scylla Nor Charybdis: Transcending the Criminological Dualism Between Rationality and the Emotions
By Majid Yar, Professor of Sociology, University of Hull, UK
Recent criminological theory has featured a division between rationality and the emotions as ways of constructing and understanding the actions of the criminological subject. This dualistic opposition renders it difficult to integrate reasons and emotions within a single theory of action or explanatory framework. This article proposed to overcome this dualism by re-theorising the relationship between rationality and emotions. Drawing on the theoretical and philosophical work of Margaret Archer and Martha Nussbaum, it makes a case for understanding emotions as reasonable (and hence rational) subjective judgements about objective experiential worlds. In this way, we can proceed by understanding actions as based in ‘emotional reasons’ and ‘reasonable emotions’, rather than confining emotions to the realm of the irrational or arational. In doing so, we overcome the dualism that threatens to undermine the explanatory or interpretive possibilities of criminological theory.
By Dr Andrew Wilson, Senior Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, Division of Criminology, Nottingham Trent University, UK
Examining the influences leading to the introduction of amphetamine controls in Britain, this article focuses upon the consequences of the Drugs (Prevention of Misuse) Act 1964, and subsequent legislation. These laws had a major impact upon earlier Mod and later Northern Soul Scene subcultures in Britain, because both held amphetamine use as a central component of their recreational activities. The paper aims to provide greater understanding of the way criminalisation of amphetamines impacted on a user subculture that developed prior to criminalisation. While the 1964 Act effectively restricted supplies of amphetamines from the grey market, its failure to reduce demand created the market conditions for illicitly manufactured amphetamines. The changed legal setting also provided subcultural justification for the burglary of retail pharmacies which began soon after criminalisation. The response of the authorities to increased burglary of pharmacies had a particularly damaging impact on the amphetamine user culture of the post-mod Northern Soul Scene in the mid-1970s. The introduction of tighter storage regulations, stipulating the need to store Class B drugs in a secure metal cabinet with the opiates, led to a new cultural exchange between the amphetamine using chemist burglars and opiate user groups that involved the sale of the unwanted class A drugs, including exchanging opiates for amphetamine powder. The resulting spread of intravenous drug use on the Northern Scene, introduced a number of negative health impacts including the spread of hepatitis and drug related deaths.
By Dr James Rhodes, Research Associate, School of Social Sciences, University of Manchester, UK
Although the role that employment plays in reducing re-offending has been widely acknowledged, less work has been done to explain why this should be the case. To begin to address this knowledge gap, this article focuses upon the various ways that ex-offenders benefit from employment opportunities, some of the specific difficulties they face in finding employment and how some manage to overcome them legitimately or else employ other adaptive strategies. Based on in-depth research with a sample of 12 ex-offenders, the research reveals the precise importance of the role of social relationships in securing and maintaining employment for ex-offenders. Importantly, the key role of social ties in the labour market – for those who have them – highlights the extent to which those leaving prison lack both the relevant vocational training and experience of the application process to compete effectively within a labour market that is already set heavily against them.
Ethnic Minority Representation on Juries – A Missed Opportunity
By Fernne Brennan, Senior Lecturer in Law, University of Essex, UK
People from ethnic minority groups (non-white) generally do not have confidence in the jury system. This is because they are not, or do not consider that they are, reasonably represented. Their lack of participation in this part of the criminal justice system means that such groups do not perceive that justice is done as far as they are concerned. This has implications for the belief that the right to a fair trial under article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights is maintained in the courts. The question of lack of representation of ethnic minority groups in individual jury trials is one that has been raised in a number of common law jurisdictions the USA and in cases before the European Court of Human Rights. But there is also a persistent failure to address the question of institutional racism as a process by which people from ethnic minority groups are excluded from the jury system in general. This is of great importance in the current context of racial discrimination, its link with the Trans Atlantic slave trade and the issue of reparations. The refusal to deal with institutional racism as a process of exclusion indicates a lack of understanding of how discrimination permeates justice systems. This is compounded by the fact that - in aiming to attain justice in individual cases of racial bias in juries - English courts, the government and its commissions have paid scant attention to the inclusion of ethnic minority peoples as jurors as a matter of course. Rather, the focus on inclusion issues has often been construed as a matter of race. This lacuna indicates that there is little grasp of the extent to which institutional racism plays a role in the process of excluding ethnic minorities from participating in the jury per se. This matter arises not only in the UK but in other jurisdictions where the question of racial bias, representation and white juries is raised. It is argued that positive measures should be used to redress this problem that would also demonstrate a commitment to dealing with slave trade reparations claims.
The Geography of Bus Shelter Damage: The Influence of Crime, Neighbourhood Characteristics and Land-Use
By Andrew Newton, University of Huddersfield & Kate Bowers, University College London, UK
This paper offers unique insights into the distribution of damage to bus shelters, in a single case study area, Merseyside (UK). The geography of bus shelter damage is examined in relation to the criminogenic and socio-economic characteristics of its neighbourhood, and the local land use context. The findings suggest that shelter damage is related in a known and predictable way to known characteristics of its neighbourhood, and that shelters in areas with high levels of anti social behaviour and violence against the person are more susceptible to bus shelter damage. Two key factors in the occurrence of bus shelter damage appear to be lack of capable guardianships and the presence of youths. In relation to the influence of land use, the presence of parks, children’s play areas and schools (particularly those whose unauthorised truancy levels were above the national average) were positively correlated with shelter damage. By contrast, negative relationships were found between shelter damage and the presence of pubs, clubs, and off-licenses. The implications of these findings for crime prevention are then discussed, alongside some potential avenues for future research.
A Spatial Analysis of Neighbourhood Crime in Omaha, Nebraska Using Alternative Measures of Crime Rates
By Haifeng Zhang, University of Louisville & Michael P. Peterson, University of Nebraska, USA
This paper analyzed the spatial patterns of four types of crime (assault, robbery, autotheft, and burglary) and their relationship with neighbourhood characteristics in the City of Omaha, Nebraska by using geographic information systems procedures and ordinary least square regression methods. Location quotients of crime and crime density were employed as two alternative measures of crime rates. This article has three important findings: First, the rationale of the employment of official crime rates for neighbourhood crime study is questionable; Second, while location quotients can be used to highlight the prevalent types of crime across urban neighbourhoods, they have limited use for the statistical analysis; and third, crime density focuses on the spatial intensity of crime and is more appropriate as the indicator of neighbourhood level crime than population-standardized crime rates and location quotients. This article not only presents important insights into the enhanced interpretation of the geography of neighbourhood crime, but also can be considered as testing the social disorganization theory and routine activity theory by using different measures instead of crime rates. Policy implications pertaining to neighbourhood crime mapping and law enforcement intervention are discussed at the end.
By Aidan Wilcox, University of Huddersfeld, UK.
Concerns about the internal validity of reconviction studies tend to focus on factors such as initial comparability of groups. Often overlooked is the impact that data preparation can have. Data preparation refers to the decisions taken by researchers regarding which offenders to retain in the sample for analysis. Using data relating to a sample of offenders in two police forces, it is shown that these decisions, even when applied equally to both groups, can impact differentially on reconviction rates, weakening a study’s internal validity. Implications of the findings are considered and recommendations made to improve the transparency of the process.
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By Tim Owen, University of Central Lancashire, UK.
The paper identifies the broad organising ideas relating to David Garland’s (2001) ‘Culture of Control’ thesis. The critique respectfully identifies some theoretical deficits within Garland’s use of Foucauldian concepts pertaining to power, discourse, the conflation of agency and structure etcetera. Several post-Foucauldian ‘modifications’ are recommended including the use of some insights from Owen’s (2006a) Genetic-Social approach and Layder’s (1997) notion of Psychobiography. The findings of this conceptual and theoretical approach illustrate that Garland’s thesis would be enhanced by a post-Foucauldian, metatheoretical emphasis upon the dialectical relationship between the systemic and relational aspects of power; dualism; Psychobiography; and an anti-reductionist critique of agency-structure, micro-macro and time-space of the kind associated with the work of Owen (ibid) and Sibeon (1996, 2004).
By Rachel Armitage & Hannah Smithson, University of Huddersfield, UK.
Alleys (snickets, ginnels, backways) are particularly common in British industrial cities and were originally designed to allow access to the rear of properties by coalmen and refuse collectors. Although alleys are still useful to allow residents access to the rear of their property without walking through the house, they also provide a means of entry and escape for offenders. Alley-gating is a crime reduction measure that involves the installation of a lockable gate across an alley, preventing access for anyone who does not have a key. This paper presents the findings of a study undertaken to examine the sustainability of Liverpoool’s Alley-gating scheme (a robust evaluation of Liverpool’s scheme was undertaken in 2002 see Young et al, 2003; Bowers et al, 2004). It specifically reports on the results of a residents’ survey undertaken in gated and non-gated areas. The findings are compared with those from 2002. The results suggest that the positive impacts on perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour, and experience of crime and anti-social behaviour have been maintained over a four year period in Liverpool.
By Helen Wells, Centre for Criminological Research, Institute of Law, Politics &Justice, Keele University, UK.
A preoccupation with risk as a rationale for enforcement has led to significant changes in both the practice of control and the experience of being controlled. A concern with risk, howsoever caused, has led to whole new populations being drawn within the state's regulatory gaze and prosecuted under strict liability laws. The use of speed cameras to enforce speed limits has been one such development which has been the subject of intense public debate. This paper situates this controversy within a risk framework and explores the way in which drivers who describe themselves, in various ways, as 'respectable' have responded to this new role as a ‘risky’, rather than ‘at risk’, population. The negative consequences associated with being identified as a source of risk have, it is suggested, allowed drivers to re-conceptualise themselves as the victim, rather than cause, of risk on the roads. They have then been able to reject responsibility for risk while enthusiastically pursuing methods of responsibilisation which protect them from it.
By Jason Powell, School of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Liverpool, and Azrini Wahidin, Centre for Criminal Justice at University of Central England, UK.
The elderly population merits more sustained sociological and criminological investigation because in western societies and globally the general population is both ageing and growing in size. This article critically analyses issues of old age and crime, focusing upon old age and victimisation, fear of crime and ageing offenders. The article sets out a proposed agenda for change in the focus of the criminal justice system, with a call for research to better inform policy and practice in this strangely neglected but increasingly important area of ageing and crime.
By Dr Steffen Zdun, academic member of staff, University of Bielefeld, Germany.
This article focuses upon street-level violence, particularly upon issues of guilt neutralization and offending legitimization. Primarily, the paper is a synthesis of findings from the author’s empirical research in the field of youth violence and his in-depth critical examination of the published literature in this area. The paper asks some telling questions about what is currently known about offender guilt-neutralization and legitimization at various points before, during and after violent crimes. Ultimately, the author argues for the need to develop criminological theory and undertake more research to better understand the dynamic strategies that offenders employ to legitimize their violent offending.
By Mark Cowling, Reader in Criminology, School of Social Sciences and Law, University of Teesside, UK.
The constitutive criminology of Henry and Milovanovic and associated writers is the most positive and systematic attempt to develop a postmodern criminology. One way in which to judge a new departure of the sort is in terms of its results: what interventions, what ideas about policy or politics, does it offer in contrast to its antecedents? This article starts by very briefly outlining the theoretical foundations of constitutive criminology, which it identifies as a particular interpretation of Lacan, matched with chaos theory. It then reviews some of the main interventions proposed by constitutive criminologists. It argues that these add little to existing radical ideas, except for a potentially disastrous fascination with far-from-equilibrium conditions.
By M. Dyan McGuire, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, Saint Louis University, USA.
Data was gathered from 52 female inmates residing in two women’s prisons located in Missouri, USA, through semi-structured interviews in order to document the existence of violence among female inmates and to evaluate causes of such violence. Donald Black’s self help theory was used as a paradigm for evaluating causes of violence among female inmates. The results of this study suggest that violence among female inmates is more common than typically assumed. The results also suggest that Black’s theory may account for the large amount of violence associated with homosexual relationships but is unable to explain the existence of predatory violence aimed at forcibly acquiring property or accomplishing sexual assault. Prison policies including those prohibiting homosexual conduct and the apparent de facto policy of punishing everyone involved in a fight may be unwittingly contributing to the problem of violence among female inmates. Possible reforms that might be helpful are discussed and analyzed.
By Mike Stephens, Senior Lecturer in Criminology and Social Policy at Loughborough University.
Increasing moral panic in Britain, fuelled by newspaper reports of ‘innocent’ victims being murdered by persons with serious mental illness failed by the system of community care, has led the government to consider the introduction of greater powers of compulsory treatment and detention for such individuals. Government plans have encountered much opposition in Britain, in particular from mental health professionals and those concerned with civil liberties. The government insists that the community care of the most seriously and potentially dangerous mental health consumers has failed. Its draft powers of compulsion are one further example of a gradual drift in Britain towards mounting surveillance of difficult groups not on an inclusive and caring basis but on an approach dependent on exclusionary and compulsory means, many of which have implications for civil liberties. However, in contrast to the government’s position, there is at least one place, Madison, Wisconsin, where a most successful system of community care for persons with mental illness can be found. There, even the most seriously ill individuals are frequently treated in the community so that they can exercise their civil rights to enjoy as normal and independent a life as possible.
By Simon Mackenzie, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Criminology, Education, Sociology and Social Work, Keele University
This paper reports observational data recorded on three journeys on London’s public transport network in 2004. The data is reported as experience in an approach that attempts, in the phenomenological vein, to bring the incidents to life for the reader. The strong subjectivity in this approach to the write up of data is then tempered by a more objective analysis of the three events. In this, the paper explores a link between the highly subjective, micro-level data, and the structuring propensities of the market. The ‘marketisation’ of emotion is argued to have structuring effects on morality as it is constructed and manipulated at an individual level.
By Dr Majid Yar, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research (SPSSR), University of Kent at Canterbury
Intellectual property (IP) crime remains as yet a marginal topic in sociological and criminological investigation. This neglect is due in part to the perception that such offences are ‘non-serious’ and/or ‘victimless’. This paper sets out to challenge such assumptions by examining a particular instance of IP crime, namely the counterfeiting of dangerous goods, and in particular the counterfeiting of automotive components. It is argued that such activities, now globally widespread, carry both significant economic costs, and that they pose substantial risks to public health and safety. Some of the key drivers of this trade are analysed, along with recent developments in law, policing, crime control and technological innovation that aim to curtail the counterfeiting of these and other dangerous counterfeit products. It is argued that IP crime comprises a socially significant and sociologically challenging phenomenon, one that deserves concerted attention from those working in the sociology of crime, law, health, risk, technology and political economy.
By Scott Poynting, School of Humanities, University of Sydney, Australia.
This article traces the course of a series of moral panics over the banding together, group identification and collective action of certain groups of young people - mainly young men - in and around some mass sporting events in New South Wales, Australia, in 2001-4. It could be a story of ‘football hooliganism’, except that the sport is not football (or ‘soccer’, as it is known in Australia), but rugby league. That such ‘collective behaviour’ had been relatively unknown in this sporting milieu in Australia provided the opportunity for the racialized ‘othering’ of those labelled as deviant, in the context of the construction of the ‘Arab Other’ (and later the Muslim Other) as the pre-eminent folk demon of contemporary Australia.
By Greg Mantle (Anglia Polytechnic University, UK), Darrell Fox (Youth Offending Team Practitioner) and Mandeep K. Dhami (Assistant Professor of Legal Psychology, University of Victoria, Canada).
This paper first reviews the concept of restorative justice, and then examines the affinities and tensions between restorative justice and three ‘individual’ criminological theories: classicism, individual positivism, and ‘law and order’ conservatism. These theories have been selected because of their significance in the development of present criminal justice policies.
By Ken Pease & Graham Farrell (Loughborough University), Ken Clark (University of Manchester) and Dan Ellingworth (Manchester Metropolitan University).
The notion of supertargets is introduced for the first time in this paper to refer to the 3 or 4 percent of chronically victimised targets that account for around 40 percent of crime victimisation. The esteemed authors demonstrate that theory-testing relating to crime requires the inclusion of the crime concentration rate to incorporate repeat victimisation and they indicate how mathematical modelling may, in turn, illuminate the crime concentration predictions of routine activity theory.
By Tahir Abbas, University of Birmingham
This paper discusses findings that have emerged from the Department for Constitutional Affairs (formerly the Lord Chancellor’s Department) Courts and Diversity Research Programme. During 1999-2003 four projects were commissioned, completed by academic researchers and published by the department. This paper explores the background issues to the research programme, the specific area of ethnicity within the criminal justice system, and addresses the implications of findings for socio-legal research evidenced-based policy.
By Fiona Donson (Cardiff University), Graeme Chesters (Edge Hill College), Ian Welsh (Cardiff University) and Andrew Tickle (CPRE)
This paper examines whether anti-capitalist political activists are (mis)constructed as ‘folk devils’, through an examination of media coverage in the UK and Czech Republic. The construction, of such protestors, as violent criminals and dangerous ‘anarchists’ has, it is argued, influenced their treatment at protests by public authorities in London and Prague. The paper also offers, in juxtaposition to this representation of the current anti-capitalism movement, a discussion of the accounts of activists themselves. In particular it examines the activists’ own perceptions of their engagement in the global social movement against capitalism. The paper is based on evidence drawn from the preliminary findings of interdisciplinary research into global social movements, and in particular the protests against the International Monetary Fund and World Bank in Prague in September 2000.
By Barbara Perry, Northern Arizona University.
This paper identifies several strangely neglected areas of hate crime scholarship, including the lack of critical reflection on the usefulness of the term “hate crime” as a descriptor of bias motivated behavior. Concerning measurement issues, concepts and causes, hate groups, responses to hate crimes and comparative scholarship, there are many gaps in our knowledge that are avenues for further enquiry. In particular, we have failed to examine the specificity of the bias crime experiences of diverse victim groups.
By Roger Hopkins Burke and Edward Pollock, both at Nottingham Trent University
“Hate crime scholars have largely avoided thinking about the phenomenon from a sociologically and theoretically informed perspective. What this paper does is state explicitly what many authors have merely implied: that bias motivated crime is in fact a normative response to one’s culturally, socially and economically situated experience. In short, this work seeks to explicate the utility of variants of strain theory as accounts of hate crime … In short, this is one of the most exciting papers on hate crime that I have read in some time. It adds something new and vital to the literature. I fully hope that it opens up a dialogue on the application of theory to understanding this persistent problem.”
By Dr Dyan McGuire, St Louis University, USA
Dyan McGuire's paper is based on a sample of 64,466 young people referred to the juvenile court of Missouri USA in 1997. This important paper uncovers the complex nature of racial and gender bias in the court's decision making. Perhaps the most important finding is that, controlling for other important variables such as offence and offending history, Black males and Black and White females are disadvantaged by the courts decision making regarding detention and are treated less favourably than White males.
By Matthew Williams, Cardiff University.
This article makes one of the most significant contributions to undertanding motivation for vandalism, and the characteristics of its group dynamics, since Stan Cohen's (1973) "Property Destruction: Motives and Meanings". Dr Mathew William's work shows how much things have changed in the last 30 years since Professor Cohen wrote that vandalism requires little technical know-how.
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By Helen Codd.
Although a substantial body of research has been published in the UK documenting the challenges faced by the female partners of male prisoners, little of this research has been feminist in its aims or methods. This article argues that, from a feminist perspective, there are certain commonalities between these two aspects of women’s interactions with imprisonment. Through an analysis of one issue, that is, the struggle for identity, the author argues that women in prison and the female partners of imprisoned men have more in common than has previously been explored in the published literature.
By Jovan Byford.
This paper proposes that understanding the causes of anti-Semitic hate crime requires the recognition of the cultural specificity of anti-Semitism, reflected in its unique mythical and conspiratorial nature. By neglecting to consider the idiosyncrasies of anti-Semitic rhetoric, general theories of hate crime often fail to provide an adequate explanation for the persistence of anti-Jewish violence, especially in cultures where Jews do not constitute a conspicuous minority, or where there is no noticeable tradition of anti-Jewish sentiment.
By David Mann, Mike Sutton and Rachel Tuffin
This article examines the activities of white racists and racialists and how these activities have expanded since the invention of the World Wide Web and Internet newsgroups. The paper provides useful insights into the social dynamics of white racist and anti-racist activists in Internet newsgroups.