Prisons and Their Moral Performance
A Study of Values, Quality, and Prison Life
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Prisons and Their Moral Performance by Alison Liebling
Book DescriptionThis book constitutes a critical case study of the modern search for public sector reform. It includes a detailed account of a study aimed at developing a meaningful way of evaluating difficult-to-measure moral dimensions of the quality of prisons. Penal practices, values, and sensibilities have undergone important transformations over the period 1990-2003. Part of this transformation included a serious flirtation with a liberal penal project that went wrong. A significant contributory factor in this unfortunate turn of events was a lack of clarity, by those working in and managing prisons, about important terms such as 'justice', 'liberal', and 'care', and how they might apply to daily penal life. Official measures of the prison service seem to lack relevance to many who live and work in prison and to their critics. The author proposes that a truer test of the quality of prison life is what staff and prisoners have to say about those aspects of prison life that 'matter most': relationships, fairness, order, and the quality of their treatment by those above them. The book attempts a detailed analysis and measurement of these dimensions in five prisons. It finds significant differences between establishments in these areas of prison life, and some departures from the official vision of the prison supported by the performance framework. The information revolution has generated unprecedented levels of knowledge about individual prisons, as well as providing a management reach into establishments from a distance, and a capacity for 'chronic revision', that was unimaginable fifty years ago. Another major transformation - the modernisation project - brought with it a new, but flawed, 'craft' of performance monitoring and measurement aimed at solving some of the problems of prison management. This book explores the arrival and the impact of this concept of performance and the links apparently forged between managerialism and moral values.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199291489
(213mm x 139mm x 32mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 28-Jul-2005
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Alison Liebling
Suicides in Prison, Paperback (November 2014)
First published in 1992. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.
Legitimacy and Criminal Justice, Hardback (November 2013)
Brings together internationally renowned scholars from a range of disciplines, including criminology, international relations, sociology and political science, to examine the meaning of legitimacy and the implications for its future empirical analysis in the context of criminal justice.
Prison Officer, Hardback (December 2010)
A guide to the world and work of the Prison Officer, showing the centrality of staff-prisoner relationships to different operations carried out by officers. It is suitable for those with an interest in the work of a prison officer and established and aspiring officers.
Effects of Imprisonment, Paperback (August 2006)» View all books by Alison Liebling
Ponders whether the prison harms its inhabitants, its employees, and others, and redirects the conversation among academics, policy-makers and professionals on the effects of imprisonment. This book examines the social, psychological, behavioural, and emotional impacts of the incarceration experience on prisoners, their families, and on society.
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Author Biography - Alison Liebling
Helen Arnold is at the Cambridge University Institute of Criminology.
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