Prisons and Their Moral Performance: A Study of Values, Quality, and Prison Life

Prisons and Their Moral Performance: A Study of Values, Quality, and Prison Life

by Alison Liebling
     
 

ISBN-10: 0199271224

ISBN-13: 9780199271221

Pub. Date: 08/28/2004

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

"This 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…  See more details below

Overview

"This 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. Related to this, official measures of the prison seem to lack relevance to many who live and work in prison and to its critics. 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. This book explores the arrival and the impact of the concept of performance and the links apparently forged between managerialism and moral values." 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. This 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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199271221
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
08/28/2004
Series:
Clarendon Studies in Criminology Series
Pages:
592
Product dimensions:
8.60(w) x 5.60(h) x 1.50(d)

Table of Contents

Pt. IPenal values and prison evaluation
1The late modern prison and the question of values3
2The measurement and evaluation of prison regimes52
3Identifying what matters in prison131
4Particular prisons and their qualities168
Pt. IIKey dimensions of prison life
5Relationships dimensions205
6Regime dimensions260
7Social structure and meaning341
Pt. IIIPenal values and prison management
8Managing late modern prisons and their performance375
9Security, harmony, and 'what matters' in prison life431
10Legitimacy, decency, and the moral performance of prisons454

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