Thursday, October 26, 2017

New Special Issue of Theoretical Criminology of Interest

New Special Issue on the state of the State (Guest Editors Vanessa Barker and Lisa Miller)

Introduction to the special issue on the state of the State
Vanessa Barker, Lisa L Miller
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 417–421


Fracturing the penal state: State actors and the role of conflict in penal change
Ashley Rubin, Michelle S Phelps
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 422–440

Penal power at the border: Realigning state and nation
Vanessa Barker
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 441–457

‘The constitution of political membership’: Punishment, political membership, and the Italian case
Zelia Gallo
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 458–477

Black women, victimization, and the limitations of the liberal state
Shatema Threadcraft, Lisa L Miller
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 478–493

“What citizens can see of the state”: Police and the construction of democratic citizenship in Latin America
Yanilda María González
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 494–511

What’s in a name and why it matters: A historical analysis of the relationship between state authority, vigilantism and penal power in South Africa
Gail Super
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 512–531

Carceral Citizenship: Race, Rights and Responsibility in the Age of Mass Supervision
Reuben Jonathan Miller, Forrest Stuart
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 532–548

Book reviews for the state of the State Special Issue

Liberal guilt? The political origins of US mass incarceration
Dominic Aitken
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 549–553

Book Review: Judah Schept, Progressive Punishment: Job Loss, Jail Growth, and the Neoliberal Logic of Carceral Expansion
Michelle S Phelps
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 554–556

Book Review: Daniel LaChance, Executing Freedom: The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment in the United States
Bailey Socha
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 556–558

Book Review: Chris Cunneen and Juan Tauri, Indigenous Criminology
Leanne Weber
First Published October 25, 2017; pp. 558–561

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Op-Ed by Heather Schoenfeld: Louisiana sheriff’s comments reflect more than racism

Reposted from Injustice Today:
At a press conference on October 5th, Sheriff Steve Prator of Caddo Parish, Louisiana decried the state’s new policy that would lead to the release of some prisoners in the upcoming months. Sheriff Prator’s comments that the reforms would contribute to the release of “good” prisoners as well as “bad ones” have been roundly critiqued for “evoking slavery,” and the century-old legacy in Southern states of leasing black prisoners for profit. In fact, his comments also evoked more recent history. During the 1980s and 1990s, as the prison population dramatically expanded in many southern states, officials began to market prison labor as an economic boon to rural communities. Their actions reflected the absence of any serious policy discussion about the purpose of incarceration, besides warehousing offenders, or about what prisoners should do while serving their sentences.
The tradition of using prisoners as cheap or free labor for Southern communities is a long one. It grew out of a commonly held belief, in the aftermath of the Civil War, that former slaves would not work unless compelled or coerced and from the desire by local officials to maintain a cheap supply of labor. These beliefs led to the enactment of racist laws and practices that criminalized black Americans, who could then be forced to work without compensation. What began as convict leasing to private companies, eventually turned into labor for the state — growing crops, building roads, and constructing and maintaining public facilities (including prisons themselves). As detailed in my forthcoming book, Building the Prison State, the Florida Division of Corrections classified prisoners by their ability to work, not their security level until the 1960’s. Grade 1 prisoners were physically fit for any assignment; Grade 2 prisoners had a “slight defect, such as age, but were otherwise physically fit”; Grade 3 prisoners had “extensive physical disability, able to do only light work”; and Grade 4 prisoners were physically “unfit,” unable to do productive labor.
As Southern prison systems became more centralized and bureaucratized in the mid-20th century, prisons began providing other activities for prisoners, including education, recreation, and rehabilitative programming. Not coincidentally, the proportion of white prisoners in Southern prisons also increased. Yet work assignments — whether for private industry or the state — remained a crucial part of the prison experience.
Beginning in the 1980s, as the incarcerated population in Southern states rapidly increased, prisons there became dangerously overcrowded. By the end of that decade, state legislators voted to build new prisons in order to comply with federal court orders that found Southern prison systems unconstitutional for overcrowding and inadequate medical care. Yet officials faced stiff opposition to locating new prisons in their communities from much of the public, who considered them to be “undesirable land uses.” In response to this opposition, the Florida Department of Corrections and the governor’s office began a concerted marketing campaign to “sell” prisons to economically struggling rural communities in the northern part of the state. One of the big selling points to these communities was that prisoners could complete local public works projects at practically no cost. In addition, the state minimized the cost of prison expansion to taxpayers by using inmate labor to build and maintain new prisons. The marketing worked. County commissioners, sheriffs and state legislators began to welcome new prisons. Today, local officials in many Florida communities that house prisons will point — often with pride — at the parks, roadways, buildings and other projects that prisoners helped build.
During the 1990s, states and the federal government built approximately 170 new prisons in Southern rural towns. Yet, despite this influx, there were no coinciding policy discussions (let alone consensus) among state officials about what, exactly, prisoners should be doing while serving their sentences.
This question of how prisoners should spend their time is closely related to changing notions during the past century of the purpose of incarceration. During the first part of the 20th century, progressive experiments aside, the answer in most of the country was for prisoners to “work” so as to “normalize” the offender as a productive laborer. By the mid-20th century, that consensus had evolved into theories that prisoners should combine work with education in order to increase their prospects of becoming rehabilitated. By the 1990’s, during the heyday of “mass incarceration,” many politicians, victims’ rights organizations and law enforcement groups completely rejected the notion that prisons should be used to help rehabilitate inmates. Rather, they advocated not just to lock more people up, but to make their experience in prison as miserable as possible. Congress and President Clinton stripped prisoners of the ability to receive Pell Grants. State legislators attempted to take televisions and weight-equipment out of the state prisons and defunded correctional education. However, the expectation that prisoners work has remained constant. Corrections departments across the country routinely report the high percentage of prisoners with work assignments and often recount the benefits of this work to the state.
Today, the costs of maintaining such high rates of imprisonment have become unsustainable to many states. By 2011, states spent an estimated $52 billionon their corrections systems — 1 in 14 state general fund dollars. The state prison in Sheriff Prator’s parish closed in 2012 as a result of state budget cuts. Reformers around the country are advocating for legislation that will keep some non-violent offenders out of prison. These proposed reforms effectively put rural communities and political officials who gain from prison expansion on notice because they will deplete the supply of underpaid labor. It is hardly surprising then that Sheriff Prator and others would oppose the release of prisoners — particularly those that serve the economic needs of their communities.
The efforts of criminal justice reformers advocating for a reduction in our nation’s prison population would be strengthened by a frank acknowledgement of the economic benefits derived by rural communities from the placement of prisons. While the extent of the economic impact of prisons is debated, by bringing up this history, they can encourage an important and all-too rare public conversation about the economics of prisons. It is important for legislators, and the public, to connect these economic factors to broader discussions about what prisoners should be doing when incarcerated and, relatedly, to the overall purpose of prisons today.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Members' Publications

As compiled by Miltonette Craig: 

October 2017


Andraka-Christou, Barbara. (2017). What Is “Treatment” For Opioid Addiction in Problem-Solving Courts? A Study of 20 Indiana Drug and Veterans Courts. Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, 18(2), 189-254. [Access it here]

Dawe Meghan, and Philip Goodman. (2017). Conservative Politics, Sacred Cows, and Sacrificial Lambs: The (Mis)Use of Evidence in Canada’s Political and Penal Fields. Canadian Review of Sociology, 54(2), 129-146. [Access it here]

Kang, Timothy, Candace Kruttschnitt, and Philip Goodman. (2017, Forthcoming). Multi-Method Synergy: Using the Life-History Calendar and Life as a Film for Retrospective Narratives. Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.

Mears, Daniel, Miltonette Craig, Eric Stewart, and Patricia Warren. (2017). Thinking Fast, Not Slow: How Cognitive Biases May Contribute to Racial Disparities in the Use of Force in Police-Citizen Encounters. Journal of Criminal Justice, 53, 12-24. [Access it here]

Reiter, Keramet, and Susan Bibler Coutin. (2017). Crossing Borders and Criminalizing Identity: The Disintegrated Subjects of Administrative Sanctions. Law and Society Review, 51(3), 567-601. [Access it here]

Sykes, Bryan, Anjuli Verma, and Black Hawk Hancock. (2017). Aligning Sampling and Case Selection in Quantitative-Qualitative Research Designs: Establishing Generalizability Limits in Mixed-Method Studies. Ethnography. DOI: 10.1177/1466138117725341 [Access it here]

Werth, Robert. (2017). Book Review: On the Parole Board: Reflections on Crime, Punishment, Redemption and Justice, by Frederic Reamer. Punishment & Society. DOI: 10.1177/1462474517731736 [Access it here]


Goodman, Philip, Joshua Page, and Michelle Phelps. (2017). Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice. New York: Oxford University Press. [More info here]

If you would like your recently published book or article to be included in the next digest,

please send your citation information to Miltonette Craig ( by November 30.

Job Posting: University of Oxford (Criminology)


Associate Professorship in Quantitative Criminology 

CENTRE FOR CRIMINOLOGY, FACULTY OF LAW in association with Green Templeton College, Oxford
Grade 10a: £46,336 - £62,219 p.a.
The Faculty of Law and Green Templeton College Law invite suitably qualified candidates to apply for the post of Associate Professor in Quantitative Criminology in the Centre for Criminology, Oxford. The person appointed will be expected to engage in advanced study and research in Quantitative Criminology, to give high-quality seminars, classes, supervision, lectures, and tutorials, at both undergraduate and graduate level, to examine, and to play a part in the administration of the Centre and the Faculty.
Applicants must hold a doctorate in a relevant social science subject, have relevant teaching experience, have conducted and published empirical research with quantitative methods, be able to develop course materials and research proposals, have a research record of international standing and the intention to continue researching and publishing, and have the potential to secure external research funding. Preference will be given to candidates with a record of research and publication in the field of race and criminal justice, and experience of or the potential for successful engagement outside the academy in knowledge exchange activities or policy development. The full selection criteria in the Further Particulars should be consulted before applying.
Associate professors who are awarded the title of full professor may receive from the University an additional salary payment of £2,700 p.a.
Queries about the application process should be addressed to the Personnel Officer in the Law Faculty, Emma Gascoigne email:; tel: 01865 281622. All enquiries will be treated in strict confidence and will not form part of the selection decision.
The closing date for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 30 October 2017.
The College and the University are Equal Opportunity Employers. Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Oxford.

Job Posting: Université de Montréal (Criminology)

 Professor of Criminology 
Faculté des arts et des sciences / École de criminologie 

 Job description 
The École de criminologie is seeking applications for a full-time tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in the field of criminal and/or social justice (for instance, community intervention practices, penal policies, environmental Criminology). 

The appointed candidate will be expected to teach at all three levels of the curriculum, supervise graduate students, engage in ongoing research and publication, and contribute to the academic life and reputation of the University. 


• Ph.D. in Criminology (or any related or relevant discipline) 
• Strong research record in the field 
• University teaching experience 
• Proficiency in the French language* 

 Information about the position 
Posting number 
FAS 09-17 / 18 
Until November 6th, 2017 inclusively 
The Université de Montréal offers competitive salaries and a full range of benefits. 
Starting date 
On or after June 1st, 2018 


The application must include the following documents: 

- a cover letter 
- a curriculum vitæ 
- copies of recent publications and research 

• Three letters of recommendation are also to be sent directly to the department Head by the referees.
Application and letters of recommendation must be sent to the head of the École de criminologie to the attention of Mr Jean Proulx at the following address: 
M. Jean Proulx 
École de criminologie 
Faculté des arts et des sciences 
Université de Montréal 
C. P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville 
Montréal (QC) H3C 3J7 
Applications and letters of recommendation can also be sent electronically to the following email address: 
For more information about the École de criminologie, please consult its Web site at: 

* Language Policy: Université de Montréal is a Québec university with an international reputation. French is the language of instruction. To renew its teaching faculty, the University is intensively recruiting the world’s best specialists. In accordance with the institution’s language policy, Université de Montréal provides support for newly-recruited faculty to attain proficiency in French 
The Université de Montréal application process allows all regular professors in the Department to have access to all documents unless the applicant explicitly states in her or his cover letter that access to the application should be limited to the selection committee. This restriction on accessibility will be lifted if the applicant is invited for an interview. 
Equal Access Employment Program 
Through its Equal Access Employment Program, Université de Montréal invites women, Aboriginal people, visible and ethnical minorities, as well as persons with disabilities to apply. During the recruitment process, our selection tools will be adapted to meet the needs of people with disabilities who request it. Be assured of the confidentiality of this information. 
Université de Montréal is committed to the inclusion and the diversity of its staff and also encourages people of all sexual and gender identities to apply. 
Immigration Requirements 
We invite all qualified candidates to apply at UdeM. However, in accordance with immigration requirements in Canada, please note that priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.