7 June Joanna Adler (Middlesex University) Impact of Pornography on the young
10 May 2017 Beth Weaver (Strathclyde University) Desistance from Co-offending: A relational perspective?
15 March Richard Garside (Centre for Crime and Justice Studies) and others (journalist and adviser to a crime programme invited) Communicating Criminology
8 February Sappho Xenakis (Birkbeck College, University of London) Global crime and comparative penology
11 January Annette Balinger (Keele University) Women convicted of homicide
7 Dec Marian Duggan (University of Kent) Clare’s Law: Evaluating Deviations in Domestic Violence Prevention Policies
12 October 2016 Georgics Antonopoulos and Alexandra Hall (University of Teeside) The Internet and the Transnational Market in Illicit Pharmaceuticals
11th May 2016 Svetlana Stephenson from LondonMet on Russian Gangs.
9th March 2016 Lisa Miller of Rutgers talked about her new book, The Myth of Mob Rule: Violent Crime and Democratic Politics
10 February 2016 Carolyn Hoyle of Oxford University talked about her research on discretion and decision-making at the Criminal Cases Review Commission
13th January 2016 Jonathan Ilan Kent of Kent University spoke about ‘Understanding Street Culture Poverty, Crime, Youth and Cool’ the subject of his recent book.
9 December 2015 Angus Nurse of Middlesex University Green Criminology and Policing the Environment
Criminologists have increasingly become involved and interested in environmental issues to the extent that the term ‘Green Criminology’ is now recognised as a distinct subgenre of the field. Within this unique area of scholarly activity, researchers consider not just harms to the environment, but also the links between green crimes and other forms of crime, including organised crime’s movement into the illegal trade in wildlife or the links between domestic animal abuse, domestic violence and more ‘serious’ forms of offending such as serial killing. In essence, green criminology allows for the study of environmental and criminal laws, environmental criminality and the abuse and exploitation of nonhuman animals. Green criminology also provides a mechanism for rethinking the study of criminal laws, ethics, crime and criminal behaviour (Situ and Emmons, 2000; Lynch and Stretesky, 2003).
But within this broad framework there exists a potentially paradoxical question. Does green criminology allow for the application of a green perspective to mainstream criminal justice issues, or is green criminology solely a tool for applying criminological perspectives to distinctly green crimes? Critics might argue that green criminology is limited because environmental crimes are not the core focus of criminal justice systems and public concern about crime and safety. Undoubtedly this is true but as White (2007, 2012a) observes, given the potential for environmental harms to extend far beyond the impact on individual victims that are the norm with ‘traditional’ crimes of interpersonal violence and property crime, green crimes should be given importance if not priority within justice systems. This paper argues that eco-global crimes such as the illegal trade in wildlife, pollution crimes and environmental harm are of significance not just because they are crimes that have a global reach and impact on both existing communities and future generations, but also because they affect and involve a range of nation states and different justice systems. By considering these issues, green criminology examines complex issues in criminological enquiry that extend beyond the narrow confines of individualistic crime which dominate criminological discourse and are the main focus of criminal justice policy. Simply put, green criminology thinks bigger.
11 November 2015 Harry Annison of Southampton University launched his book. Dangerous Politics: Risk, Political Vulnerability, and Penal Policy brings together relevant literature in law, criminology, and politics to provide insights into the nature of British penal politics, the role of the judiciary and pressure groups, and the interrelation between risk, the ‘public voice’, and penal politics. It presents a detailed case study of the IPP story: the creation and eventual demise of the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence.
Drawing on over 60 in-depth interviews with key policymakers, the author investigates the beliefs, traditions, and political processes that propelled developments in the ‘IPP story’, namely the creation, contestation, amendment, and demise of the IPP sentence. An indeterminate sentence modelled upon the existing life sentence but targeted far more broadly, the IPP sentence has been described as ‘one of the least carefully planned and implemented pieces of legislation in the history of British sentencing’ (Jacobson and Hough, 2010) and has dramatically increased the indeterminate-sentenced prison population, from approximately 3,000 in 1992 to over 13,000 in 2014. Though abolished in 2012, it remains a pressing issue: over 5,000 IPP prisoners remain, with ongoing campaigns pressing for their release. Standing as one of the most striking examples of the expansion of preventive goals in sentencing policy, this study of the IPP story stands as a cautionary tale, with important lessons for Australia, Canada, the United States, and other nations that continue to pursue preventive goals. This book argues that the IPP story demonstrates the need to be cautious of equating substance with process – while on one view the IPP sentence constitutes a penal manifestation of the risk society, its development refutes the ‘evolutionary growth’ of such policies as implied by the ‘new penology’ thesis.
14 October 2015 Alistair Fraser of Glasgow University Urban Legends: Gang Identity in the Post-Industrial City
As the youth gang phenomenon becomes a sensitive global issue, communities from Los Angeles to Rio, Cape Town to London are facing the reality of what such violent groups mean for their children and young people. Complex dangers and instabilities, as well as high levels of public fear and anger, fuel an amplification of anxious public and political rhetoric in relation to gangs, in which the stereotype of the American street-gang looms large. Set against this backdrop, this paper tells a story of young people, gang identity, and social change in post-industrial Glasgow, challenging the perceptions of gangs as a novel, universal, or pathological phenomenon. Though territorial gangs have been reported in Glasgow for over a century, with striking continuities over time, there are also important similarities with street-based groups elsewhere. Drawing on four years of varied ethnographic fieldwork in Langview, a deindustrialised working-class community, the paper spotlights the everyday experiences and understandings of gangs for young people growing up in the area, reasoning that – for some – gang identification represents a root of identity and a route to masculinity, in a post-industrial city that has little space for them.