Working with, against or through neoliberal penality? Voluntary sector futures in criminal justice

Dr  Mary Corcoran4
4Keele University, Keele, United Kingdom

The profile of the voluntary/charitable sector’s work in criminal justice has become sharply magnified in recent years as ‘Anglophone’ capitalist countries turn towards mixed-market models in public services.  Austerity, welfare state shrinkage, marketisation and new public managerialism have, in their different ways, accelerated the trend towards ‘hybridised’ criminal justice.     The transition to contracted ‘partners’ in criminal justice provision (alongside the state and for-profits) poses fundamental questions about the power relations which inhere in these partnerships, the further blurring of their functions, and the extent to which private (non-state) agencies ought to be accountable as public entities.  Drawing on a national research project covering England & Wales, this contribution will share findings about the significant paradigms shifts that are taking place in the penal voluntary sector in Britain.


Mary Corcoran (Keele University UK)  is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Keele University, UK.  She has published widely on women in criminal justice, the voluntary sector, marketisation, and is currently focusing on prisoner health and wellbeing.   Mary co-edited (with A. Hucklesby) (2015)  The Voluntary Sector and Criminal Justice,  and is currently working on a monograph (with Williams & Maguire): The Voluntary Sector in Criminal Justice: Adaptation, Capture and Resilience  (working title).  Mary is also Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Law, University of New South Wales (Autumn 2018).



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