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Who Do We Punish? Inequality, Racial Discrimination and Criminalisation Topic Overview While the first two weeks of this course sought to cover the contextual ground on punishment, justice and control, by looking at historical shifts and contemporary sociopolitical trends, the past could of weeks looked at the function and expression of punishment in different formats, looking also at processes of criminalisation. This week we continue our interrogation of criminalisation processes and turn to look at some of the consequences of the penal context in a more critical manner. Specifically, this and next week we’ll look in more detail at what’s happening inside prison institutions. In week 5 we examine who is the subject of punishment and crime control. We will examine who are the people most likely to be subjected to contemporary policing and punishment and by looking at prison populations will critically explore the relationship between criminalisation, class, race, age, health status and gender. We will take a particular focus on issues of discrimination in criminal justice and will focus on recent reports of racial discrimination in our CJS (Lammy Report 2017). Discussion Questions 1. Does the composition of the prison population accurately reflect those who commit crime? 2. Why do most prisoners come from socio-economically impoverished backgrounds? Do rich people not commit crimes? 3. Why is there an over-representation of black and ethnic minority groups in English prisons? 4. Does socio-economic disadvantage and exclusion explain the overrepresentation of black groups in the prison population? 5. To what extent do police stop and search practices contribute to this overrepresentation? 6. How has the demographic profile of prisoners changed in the past 15 years? 7. Are minority ethnic groups victims of ‘institutional racism’? 8. What is the relationship between class, gender, age and ethnicity in explaining trends and patterns in the demographic profile of convicted 22 offenders? 9. Why do you think women make up only about 5% of the overall prison population? Why did women’s prison populations more than triple in the past 25 years? 10.How has criminology and criminal justice scholarship approached marginalised populations and to what effect? 11.How do ageing populations in prison cope with their incarceration? 12.How Is disability in custody experienced? 13.What is the status of elderly offenders in prisons? 14.Should offenders with disabilities be treated more leniently in the justice system? 15.How should the elderly and individuals with disabilities be treated in criminal justice institutions? Required Reading 1. Mills, A. and Kendall, K. (2016) ‘Mental Health in Prison’, in Y. Jewkes et. al. (eds) Handbook on Prisons, Second Edition, London: Routledge. 2. Lammy, D. (2017) The Lammy Review: An independent review into the treatment of, and outcomes for, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals in the Criminal Justice System, Read only Introduction pp 3-9. London: Ministry of Justice 643001/lammy-review-final-report.pdf 3. Earle, R. (2016) ‘Chapter 32: Race, ethnicity, multiculture and prison life’ in Y. Jewkes, J. Bennett, B. Crewe (eds.) Handbook on Prisons Second Edition, London: Routledge.


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