Email Bulletin July 2007
Welcome to the Harm and Society project's monthly email bulletin, bringing you a roundup of news, research, political developments, events and updates on our work.
WHAT HAVE WE BEEN UP TO?
CHANGING OUR NAME
Since 2003, the Crime and Society Foundation has operated as an independent project within the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College London. In 2007, we are taking forward the project in two ways. We will be developing further our interest in harmful behaviours beyond those generally defined as crime. Our work will also be much more closely integrated with the other work of the Centre. Alongside these changes, our commitment to developing fresh and challenging policy perspectives remains. To reflect this change, the Foundation will be known as the Harm and Society project, operating under the name of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies.
The aim of Harm and Society is to stimulate debate about the limitations of criminal justice and promote alternative perspectives on social harm, crime and social policy. It seeks to change the terms of the debate by working with others to catalyse a fundamental shift in social and criminal justice policy.
For more information, you can download a flyer explaining our objectives and vision here. We are currently working out how we integrate this bulletin and our other communications such as the website and daily news summary, with CCJS' work.
CONFERENCE: CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE. NEW DIRECTIONS
We're all recovering from our two day conference which took place on 5 and 6 of July. We felt that it was a great success - it was well attended with delegates and speakers participating in a range of discussions and debates about criminal justice, social harm and social justice throughout the event. We are drawing together the papers presented at the conference to produce an online publication to be available at the beginning of September.
LAW ABIDING MAJORITY? THE EVERYAY CRIMES OF THE MIDDLE CLASSES
On 25 June 2007 we launched our new briefing, `Law abiding majority?' a briefing that explores the amount of law-breaking that takes place in middle class life. Professor Susanne Karstedt and Dr Stephen Farrall put forward a thoughtful and challenging contribution to the debate about `crime' and `criminality' and role of the market. For more information click here. It was also covered by a range of media including TV, radio, news websites and newspapers. For example, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. There was also follow up comment in The Observer and Sunday Times on 1 July.
NEW LABOUR - SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION AND SOCIAL ORDER
Will McMahon stepped in at the last minute at the recent conference after one of the plenary speakers pulled out. His paper can be viewed here.
YOUNG BLACK PEOPLE AND THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Harm and Society and CCJS helped Professor Ben Bowling of the King's College London School of Law organise a roundtable in response to the Home Affairs Committee report on young black people and the criminal justice system. The event took place on Tuesday 3rd July at King's. There were around 70 people from a wide array of organisations and policy positions and there was a wide ranging and interesting debate. In general the meeting felt that the anti-racist momentum gained by the inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence had been lost and that, whatever Government intentions, the number of black people, predominantly young black men, in prison has risen from 7,000 to 12,000 since 1997.
See here for further information on our strands of work.
HAVE YOU SEEN?
HAS LIBERAL CRIMINOLOGY LOST?
Professor Ian Loader of Oxford University gave the annual CCJS Eve Saville Memorial Lecture on 4 July. You can download a copy of his speech here.
INEQUALITY AT 40 YEAR HIGH
Researchers have uncovered a widening gap between rich and poor. Danny Dorling, who led the research said `Most interesting and certainly unexpected when this work began is the geography of those households who are neither rich nor poor. Over time it has become clear that there is less and less room in the south for them; they have either moved elsewhere, or become poor.' For information, see the Joseph Rowntree Foundation website here.
`PUNITIVENESS' AND `POPULISM' IN POLITICAL ECONOMIC PERSPECTIVE
Richard Garside, director of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies gave a workshop paper at our recent conference. To view the draft, see our website, here.
IN THE NEWS....
REWARD OFFERED TO STOP MUTILATION OF WOMEN
Department of Health figures due out estimate that 66,000 women in England and Wales have had their genitals forcibly mutilated. The problem is so serious in London that the Met have offered £20,000 to anyone with information leading to a prosecution. (The Guardian, 11/07/07)
`CHILDREN AT RISK FROM JAIL RESTRAINT'
A confidential study by the Youth Justice Board claims the way that children are being restrained is putting them at risk. The report says that 30% of the restraint used is for `non compliance' e.g refusal to go to bed or to another place. The YJB said the report was never intended for publication. (The Observer, 08/07/07)
`RAPE CRISIS CLOSURES'
Rape Crisis centres are facing closure following a Government decision to cut their funding. The charity has said that half of its 32 centres could close within 12 months unless other sources of funding could be found. (The Times 01/07/07)
`THERE IS NO MYSTERY ABOUT "MISSING" CRIME STATISTICS'
Professor Mike Hough of the Institute of Criminal Policy Research at King's College London responded to the recent reporting on Civitas' `discovery' of crimes missed from the British Crime Survey. He was involved in the original design of the survey and says that `The BCS was designed to provide more reliable trend information than the police statistics. The BCS was never intended to offer a complete count of total crime.' He concludes that `the irony is that the BCS analysis... has done a great deal to place chronic victimisation in the spotlight. They have known about the capping procedure for years. It is bizarre that they should choose this moment - when trust in crime statistics of any sort is at an all time low - to launch this attack on a survey that has served us so well for 25 years.' (Guardian, 29/06/07).
CENTRE FOR CRIME AND JUSTICE STUDIES
UNA PADEL AWARD
We are launching the Una Padel Award this year to recognise the outstanding contribution made by organisations and individuals working in the criminal and social justice sectors. Una Padel, our director until 2006, was a tireless campaigner for social justice and penal reform, and through this award we want to ensure that her values and commitment continue to encourage and inspire others. We welcome your nominations for people or organisations that you have come across that have made a real contribution and change to the different issues affecting offenders, victims, families and communities. We also welcome self-nominations. You can download a leaflet with information about the award here. To request more information or if you are able to help us publicise this award, please contact Sunita Patel or Julie Grogan on 020 7848 1688 or email .
The Summer edition of Criminal Justice Matters magazine is now available. It is edited by Professor Kevin Stenson and contains a range of articles exploring the development and role of `surveillance' in society. For information, contact . Information will be available on the CCJS website soon.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
'The prevailing inequalities in the world today lead to millions of avoidable deaths. These deaths - and all the other forms of suffering that go along with them - are systematically caused: they are a predictable result of the routine operation of existing social and economic structures'.
Alex Callinicos (2006), The Resources of Critique.