05-Oct-20 The Outsiders and Youth Justice

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home” (Hinton, p.1) This opening line will resonate for many who read The Outsiders (London: Penguin Books, 2016; originally USA: Viking Penguin, 1967) as a teenager andContinue reading “05-Oct-20 The Outsiders and Youth Justice”

24-July-20 Achebe and retributive justice

My current read is Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (first published by William Heinemann, 1958 though my copy is Penguin, 2001). Born in 1930 in Nigeria, Achebe studied in London and worked for the BBC, later becoming Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The book has a great back story.Continue reading “24-July-20 Achebe and retributive justice”

26-June-20 Lady Macbeth and Double Deviance

Lady Macbeth. […] Come, you spiritsThat tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here,And fill me from the crown to the toe top-fullOf direst cruelty! make thick my blood;Stop up the access and passage to remorse,That no compunctious visitings of natureShake my fell purpose, nor keep peace betweenThe effect and it! Come to my woman’s breasts,AndContinue reading “26-June-20 Lady Macbeth and Double Deviance”

22-June-20 Alfred Fagon, Policing and Race

Alfred Fagon was a Jamaican-born playwright who came to England in 1955 at the age of 18.  He worked on the railways and joined the army, where he became a boxing champion.  Leaving the army in 1962 to travel and sing calypso, Alfred settled in Bristol, learning the welding trade and starting to act part-timeContinue reading “22-June-20 Alfred Fagon, Policing and Race”

12-June-20 Solving Crimes

I have been reading Martha Gever’s chapter (reproduced in McLaughlin and Muncie, 2013) on the ‘spectacle of crime’ in relation to the American TV series CSI: Crime Series Investigation.  One phrase in particular set me thinking.  Gever talks of “…the flux of visual imagery that harnesses the quest for scientific truths to scenes of veryContinue reading “12-June-20 Solving Crimes”

27-May-20 Words, Ideas, Harm

In my last post (Crimmigration 20-May-2020), I said that “a simple stroke of the bureaucratic pen” can create significant suffering. This suffering may ripple through lives and communities for some time, much of it undocumented. In my own research (working also with colleagues at the Centre for Gender and Violence Research), I record and seekContinue reading “27-May-20 Words, Ideas, Harm”

13-May-20 Fragile Masculinity

My new bedtime read is The Tesseract by Alex Garland (1998).  It tells the story of gangsters, mothers and children in Manila, through four interweaving story-lines.  I am only a quarter in, just starting the second story-line.  The first introduced the character of Don Pepe, a ruthless gang lord who runs various protection rackets.  WeContinue reading “13-May-20 Fragile Masculinity”

23-Apr-20 The Innocence Files

Some you may now be watching the new Netflix series on wrongful convictions, ‘The Innocence Files’.  This new documentary considers the cases of individuals (young Black men in the first two episodes) convicted wrongly in the 1980s and 1990s in the US. It focuses on three areas: misuse of forensic evidence, false eyewitness testimony andContinue reading “23-Apr-20 The Innocence Files”

3-Apr-20 How to Fix a Drug Scandal

Friday evening I watched the Netflix documentary ‘How to Fix a Drug Scandal’ – a very interesting example of organisational crime and harm.  The four-part series tells the story of two (unconnected) lab chemists, one in Amherst, West Massachusetts and one in Boston, East Massachusetts.  Each were from stable homes, were academically successful and tookContinue reading “3-Apr-20 How to Fix a Drug Scandal”