Penal Moderation between Populism and Penal Hope

Punishment is one of the most interfering forms of state power in the lives and freedoms of citizens. In democracies, state power is supposed to be limited by rational laws and checks and balances. However, punishment also has an important symbolic and emotional function in society. Comparative studies of punishment illustrate large variations in punitiveness, both quantitatively and qualitatively, which are independent from crime rates. This paper looks into the mechanisms and values behind penal moderation and discusses the potential role of a “public criminology” in times of increased populism.


Sonja Snacken is Professor of Criminology, Penology and Sociology of Law at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium. Her research focuses on (comparative) penality and different forms of (extreme) institutional dependency. She has been involved in over 40 (inter)national research projects, with a special emphasis on the integration of an empirical social scientist and human rights approach. She was Research Fellow at the Straus Institute for the Advanced Study of Law and Justice, New York University School of Law (2010-2011) and Collaborateur-membre of the Centre International de Criminologie Comparée, Université de Montréal. She was awarded the Belgian Francqui Chair at the Université Catholique de Louvain (2008-2009), the Ernest-John Solvay Prize for Scientific Excellence in the Human and Social Sciences by the National Science Foundation (FWO, 2010) and the 2015 European Criminology Award by the European Society of Criminology.

Rob Hulls: Victims reimagined: understanding the pathway from victim to offender

Most people in Australian prisons have histories of profound and entrenched disadvantage. Yet as a community, the dominant view persists that those in jail are hardened criminals deserving of their time. Victims, meanwhile, are homogenised in the race by governments to get tough on crime – with little thought to the varied circumstances of their lives or the complex ways in which an experience of crime can compound into multiple vulnerabilities.

Yet the evidence shows that most offenders were victims first: kids in out-of-home care, women experiencing family violence, men with mental ill health, often driven to offending because of the failure of the system to respond to their victimisation. We also know that experiencing victimisation is among the biggest predictors of offending.

The challenge exists for us as a community to reconceive our understanding of victims and offenders, to grasp that they are often the same person. Former Victorian Attorney General and now Director of RMIT University’s Centre for Innovative Justice Rob Hulls advocates for a reimagining of our justice system and a more sophisticated public debate about how to better respond to victims of crime.


Rob Hulls completed his law course at RMIT and began his career as a Solicitor for the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria from 1984–86. Rob then moved to Mt Isa in Queensland, and worked for the West Queensland Aboriginal Legal Service for 5 years. He then served one term in Federal Parliament from 1990–93 as the member for Kennedy, Queensland and in 1994 on return to Melbourne was appointed Chief of Staff to the Victorian Leader of the Opposition. In his state political career Rob held the offices of Attorney-General; Minister for Manufacturing Industry and Minister for Racing, Minister for WorkCover, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations.

As Attorney-General, Rob instigated significant changes to Victoria’s legal system which saw the establishment of the state’s first Charter of Human Rights. He established specialist courts in Victoria including for Victoria’s indigenous community, for people with mental health issues, for people with drug addiction and for victims of family violence. He also opened up the process for the appointment of people to Victoria’s judiciary to ensure that more women and people from diverse backgrounds were appointed.

In October 2012 Rob was appointed Adjunct Professor at RMIT and was invited to establish the new Centre for Innovative Justice as its inaugural Director.  The Centre’s objective is to develop, drive, and expand the capacity of the justice system to meet and adapt to the needs of its diverse users. The Centre has facilitated the establishment of a multi-disciplinary practice on site with lawyers and social workers together with students providing holistic, wrap-around services to female prisoners in Victoria.

Prison Violence, Drug Dealing and Masculinities: Interrogating New Organised Drug Economies through an Ethnographic Lens

Georgina Barkham-Perry

University of Leicester

In an article entitled ‘Prisoner Society in an Era of Hard Drugs,’ and one of few British empirical accounts of the prison drug market, Ben Crewe argued that the presence of hard drugs (notably heroin) had redefined the prison drug economy and restructured prisoner social relations (Crewe, 2005). Since publication of that article, and despite Crewe’s emphasis on the importance of the ethnographic method, little further ethnographic research on the prison drug economy has emerged. This paper draws on original ethnographic research to explore how new psychoactive substances – typically known by brand names such as ‘Mamba’ and ‘Spice’ – have rapidly emerged to replace heroin as the prison drug of choice in England and Wales and how this has impacted social and power dynamics ‘inside’. It is argued that the ‘era of hard drugs’ has been superseded by a new ‘era of new psychoactive drugs,’ which has once again redefined social relations, transformed the prison illicit economy, produced new forms of prison victimisation, and generated far greater economic power and status for suppliers. In examining these changes, this paper critically analyses the relationship between drug use and supply, and the performance of masculinities.


Mrs Georgina Barkham-Perry is an early career researcher undertaking and assisting on research projects with colleagues at the University of Leicester and University of Bath in the UK. Graduating with an MSc in Criminology in 2017, Georgie has since undertaken ethnographic research on rehabilitative culture in a male prison and been published in the UK Prison Service Journal. Georgie has co-published with fellow panellists Dr Kate Gooch and Prof James Treadwell on ongoing criminality in prison custody funded by four police and crime commissioners in the UK and is Network Coordinator for the Leicester Prisons Research Network at the University of Leicester. She has published in the Prison Research Journal.

The Prison Firm: Conceptualising and Researching English Manifestations of Prison Organised Crime

Professor James Treadwell3

3Staffordshire University, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom

This paper introduces debates on the political economy of prison organised crime in England and Wales and the role of the organised crime group, or what here is called the ‘Prison Firm’.  It examines the strength and limitations of the concept of the gang and gang narratives that connect with discourses on organised crime, which are frequently deployed in discussions regarding community-based criminality, and yet are less frequently considered in the context of the prison. Focusing on the connections between criminal culture and the specific political economy of prison locale, the paper argues that, for serious crime networks, the prison has several important roles and functions.  However, in mainstream criminology or penology, the conception and dominant view of the prison as a largely detached and separate realm is problematic. The prison plays a central role in both forming and limiting the contacts between specific criminal coalitions, as well as a realm of opportunity, especially when the prison is understood specifically as a significant (captive) market for illicit drugs.


Professor James Treadwell is a Professor of Criminology at Staffordshire University. He was academic advisor on the Howard League Commission into Ex-Military Personnel in Prison and is known for undertaking ethnographic and qualitative research for a number of crime and criminal justice related projects.  He has published numerous articles in leading journals such as  The British Journal of Criminology; Criminology and Criminal Justice; The Howard Journal of Criminal Justice; Crime, Media, Culture and Deviant Behaviour. He has been involved in a range of empirical research projects, including a long-term ethnographic project. James is a member of the editorial board of The British Journal of Criminology, and Chair of the Prizes Committee for the British Society of Criminology. His recent books include 50 facts everyone should know about crime and punishment in Britain; The truth behind the myths (Bristol, Policy Press) Rise of the Right, English Nationalism and the Transformation of Working-Class Politics Bristol, Policy Press) Riots and Political Protest: Notes form the Post Political Present London: Routledge) and Football Hooliganism, Fan Behaviour and Crime: Contemporary Issues, Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan).

Dynamics, Manifestations and Performance of Violence in an Adult Male Prison in Aotearoa New Zealand

Dr Katherine Doolin2

2Faculty of Law, University of Auckland

Aotearoa New Zealand has a large, and growing, prison population of whom the majority are Māori. This is a significantly disproportionate level of incarceration – Māori make up over half of those in prison despite only comprising around 15 per cent of the population (Department of Corrections, March 2019). Recent media coverage, and government and independent reports indicate that violence within prisons in Aotearoa remains a pressing and topical concern. Gang affiliations and gang violence within prison walls, incidents of self-harm and deaths of inmates, allegations of prisoner mistreatment, among other issues, have been reported. With this in mind, the paper explores the dynamics, manifestations and performance of prison violence in order to understand why, when and how violence occurs within prisons in Aotearoa. In so doing, the paper presents preliminary findings from a research study carried out at an adult male prison in Aotearoa for those on remand and sentenced. The aims of the paper are two-fold. First, the paper seeks to analyse the key causes of violence within the prison and, as part of this enquiry, questions whether violence is to do with the situational context and use of authority in the prison, or is a part of the way masculinity, self-expression and identity are performed in prison. Secondly, the paper considers the impact of violence and victimisation on inmates, prison officers, and the wider prison community, and reflects on what is needed to help create and maintain a safe and secure environment in prison.


Dr Katherine Doolin is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, having previously taught at the University of Kent and University of Birmingham in the UK. She has also been a Visiting Scholar at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, funded by the British Academy. Katherine has published in the areas of criminal law and criminal justice, with a particular focus on restorative justice, therapeutic jurisprudence, youth justice, and criminal liability for parental omissions.

“One step in front of an officer, one step behind as well”: The Negotiation of Power, Order and Legitimate Authority by Prisoners, Prison Staff and Prison Managers

Dr Kate Gooch1

1University Of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom,

To date, our understanding of authority and governance in prisons has been dominated by two theories: 1) legitimacy theory (Sparks et al, 1995; Crewe, 2011; Crewe et al, 2011; Liebling 2011) and, 2) governance theory (Skarbek, 2014). Whilst the former focuses on the extent to which the use of power and authority by staff is regarded as ‘legitimate’ by prisoners and with what effects, the latter focuses on the role of prisoners – and most notably in the US context, prison gangs – in policing and governing prisons. Whilst Skarbek hints at the relationship between the two, the particular ways in which the balance of power and governance between staff and prisoners is achieved, and how that manifests in order and control, or conversely, disorder, violence and homicide, is not yet well articulated. This paper draws upon ongoing empirical research to interrogate and better articulate how such negotiations happen, with what aims, and in what contexts. It seeks to compare styles, modes and techniques of prison governance in England, Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand, focusing on the relationship between prison governance and prison violence.


Dr Kate Gooch is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Bath, having previously worked at the University of Birmingham and University of Leicester. After completing her doctoral research on the experiences of teenage boys in young offender institutions, she has continued to undertake ethnographic and qualitative research within prisons focusing on issues such as: violence, drugs, the illicit economy, serious and organised crime, physical restraint and the experiences of care leavers in custody. More recently, Kate completed a longitudinal study of the opening of HMP Berwyn, exploring themes such as leadership, organisational culture and change, organisational resilience, staff recruitment and training, prison building and architecture, and rehabilitative practices. Kate is currently the principal investigator on three large projects: 1) an ESRC funded grant entitled ‘The Rehabilitative Prison: An oxymoron or an opportunity to radically reform imprisonment?’ (with Professor Yvonne Jewkes); 2) Understanding and preventing prison homicide; 3) A comparative analysis of prison violence in England, Australia and New Zealand. With Professor James Treadwell, she is also writing a monograph for Palgrave entitled ‘Transforming the Violent Prison’, drawing on their extensive ethnographic and qualitative research on prison violence.

Working with public and private organisaons to counter violent extremism

Mr Kosta Lucas1

1Synq Up, Perth, Australia

The concept of “community resilience” is at the heart of all community-initiatives that aim to prevent and counter violent extremism. However, like the term “radicalisation”, it is a loosely defined term, and the conceptual gaps are becoming much clearer in the face of emerging extremist groups and ideologies, particularly right wing extremism. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight, from a practitioner’s perspectives, how current conceptualisations of “community resilience” are limited, and how they can be adapted, with a particular emphasis on cross-discipline collaboration and multi-stakeholder partnerships.


Biography:

Kosta Lucas is a researcher and practitioner in preventing and countering violent extremism in a wide range of policy, research and grassroots program development roles. Most notably, Kosta was the Chief Program Director of People against Violent Extremism (PaVE), Australia’s first bespoke countering violent extremism non-government organisation founded by the Hon. Dr Anne Aly MP in 2013. He has since moved on to start his own initiative, Synq Up, an independent initiative aimed at preventing community harming behaviours through the use of creative media and arts, communications and conflict resolution. Through Synq Up, Kosta works with a broad range of public and private organisations to create a greater community consciousness around the myriad of factors that contribute to violent extremism in Australia and abroad. Most recently, Kosta was selected to be a member of the European Union’s Radicalisation Awareness Network’s Expert Pool, contributing expertise on areas of youth engagement, prevention and community resilience. In addition to his work through Synq Up, Kosta has been a sessional academic with Notre Dame University since 2016, tutoring in areas such as Terrorism and Intelligence and Global Development. He is also in the process of completing his Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

The White elephant in the room – centring race in prevenve jusce scholarship

Dr Tamara Tulich1

1Law School, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia,

This paper explores learnings from prevenve jusce scholarship post September 11 that might be drawn upon in evaluang current and guiding future prevenve responses to the rise in right wing terrorism. Prevenve jusce scholarship has provided an important correcve to narraves of exceponalism in legal responses to September 11, and a significant contribuon to debates about an-terror laws in demonstrang how prevenve measures evade or erode civil liberes and criminal jusce protecons. However, unwingly absent from this scholarship is race. I argue that we need to centre race – including ‘whiteness’ – in prevenve jusce scholarship, parcularly as we consider responses to right wing terrorism.


Biography:

Dr Tamara Tulich is a Senior Lecturer in UWA Law School. Tamara researches and publishes in the areas of preventive justice, anti-terror lawmaking and indefinite detention regimes, and is a co-editor of the collection Regulating Preventive Justice (Routledge 2017). Tamara’s recent research projects focus on expanding diversionary alternatives for Aboriginal youth with Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, understanding the role of law and culture in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in responding to and preventing family violence, and reform to Australian proceeds of crime legislation.

 

The Challenges of Counterterrorism Research

Dr  Keiran Hardy1

1Griffith Criminology Institute, Mt Gravatt, Australia

Prevenng terrorism raises challenges compared to prevenng other types of crime. The polical and religious move underlying terrorism has required special legal responses, and governments connue to grapple with how to define terrorism, extremism and radicalisaon. Programs for countering violent extremism (CVE), including intervenon and deradicalisaon programs, remain underdeveloped and it is not clear how their effecveness should be measured. It is unclear whether broader community-based prevenon strategies can ever contribute to a reducon in the terrorist threat. Currently, many governments are seeking to adapt measures previously developed for Islamist extremism to account for the developing threat of right-wing extremism. Across all of these issues, accessing meaningful data sources remains difficult for terrorism researchers given the relavely low frequency of terrorist aacks and security concerns surrounding naonal security informaon. This paper addresses the challenges of conducng criminological research in counterterrorism, and considers how researchers might build stronger connecons with industry.


Biography:

Dr Keiran Hardy is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Griffith Criminology Institute. He is currently undertaking a two-year research project on crime prevention and global approaches to countering violent extremism. He has published extensively on counter-terrorism law and policy and comments regularly for Australian media. His research interests include counter-terrorism law, countering violent extremism, radicalisation, intelligence whistleblowing and cyber-terrorism. He is the author of Law in Australian Society: An Introduction to Principles and Process (Allen & Unwin, 2019).

Understanding and responding to the sovereign cizen movement in Australia

Dr Daniel Baldino1,  Mr Kosta Lucas2

1University of Notre Dame, Fremantle, Australia ,

2Synq Up, Perth, Australia

Sovereign cizens exhibit unique threats to law enforcement. So what exactly do sovereigns believe, what are their taccs and is the label ‘terrorist threat’ appropriately applied? This paper will explore the extent that an- government extremists, oen labelled as ‘sovereign cizens’, pose to naonal security in Australia. In 2015, sovereign cizens had been idenfied as a potenal terrorism threat in Australia by a confidenal NSW Police report. Other related crimes have revolved around inmidaon of law enforcement officers as well as comming mortgage, credit card, tax and loan fraud, including a recent Australian Taxaon Office legal fight against the self-proclaimed royal family of an invented principality in WA’s wheat-fields. Similarly, in 2019, the NSW government used the Terrorism (High Risk Offenders) Act 2017 against a sovereign cizen sympathiserwho had threatened an MP. Given the ideological origins of this movement began in 1960s in the US, the paper will also idenfy transnaonal trends across the Western world related to the internaonalisaon of the sovereign movement based on individuals or groups who believe that federal authority is unlawful. Finally, it will examine the benefits associated with, and limitaons of, convenonal responses to extremism and the tools of counter-terrorism in its applicaon to such a self-styled right-wing movement. Problemacally, evidence suggests that interacons with police have amplified with a notable increase in threats of violence.


Biography:

Daniel Baldino is a political scientist specialising in Australian foreign, defence and security policy including counter-terrorism, intelligence studies and government and politics of the Indo-Pacific at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle. In 2000, he was a Research Associate at the Library of Congress, Washington DC. In 2009 he was a visiting scholar within the Security and Governance Program, East-West Center, Hawaii, USA. In 2015, he was a visiting scholar at The Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies, University of Carleton, Ottawa. He has also provided education and professional development programs at the University of Fiji. He has produced numerous books and articles. His edited book (with Langlois, A and Carr, A) Controversies in Australian Foreign Policy: the core debates, published by Oxford University Press, was the winner of the Australian Institute of International Affairs’ inaugural publication grant. He is currently the Western Australian chapter convener for Australian Institute for Professional Intelligence Officers (AIPIO) as well as an Associate Editor for the Journal of the Indian Ocean Region.

Kosta Lucas is a researcher and practitioner in preventing and countering violent extremism in a wide range of policy, research and grassroots program development roles. Most notably, Kosta was the Chief Program Director of People against Violent Extremism (PaVE), Australia’s first bespoke countering violent extremism non-government organisation founded by the Hon. Dr Anne Aly MP in 2013. He has since moved on to start his own initiative, Synq Up, an independent initiative aimed at preventing community harming behaviours through the use of creative media and arts, communications and conflict resolution. Through Synq Up, Kosta works with a broad range of public and private organisations to create a greater community consciousness around the myriad of factors that contribute to violent extremism in Australia and abroad. Most recently, Kosta was selected to be a member of the European Union’s Radicalisation Awareness Network’s Expert Pool, contributing expertise on areas of youth engagement, prevention and community resilience. In addition to his work through Synq Up, Kosta has been a sessional academic with Notre Dame University since 2016, tutoring in areas such as Terrorism and Intelligence and Global Development. He is also in the process of completing his Masters of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney.

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