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The pains of hope: families of indeterminate sentenced prisoners and political campaigning by lay citizens

The pains of hope: families of indeterminate sentenced prisoners and political campaigning by lay citizens
The pains of hope: families of indeterminate sentenced prisoners and political campaigning by lay citizens
This paper examines the politics of crime and insecurity as experienced ‘from below’. We draw on in-depth interviews with families of indeterminate-sentenced prisoners, and policy participants, in order to understand families’ experiences of their relative’s imprisonment under the discredited English Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence and their public campaigning against it. We situate these experiences within broader structural trends, which we conceptualise as penal-familial assemblages. We argue that the experiences cause ‘pains of hope’ for families through a double liminality: first, due to the uncertainties caused by the indeterminate sentence, which brings neither closure nor release. Second, meaningful state action on campaigners’ demands remained elusive, with moments when change appeared close but ultimately remained just out of reach. In conclusion, we draw out the lessons from our study for analysing penal politics. We argue, in particular, for a humanistic recognition of the centrality, and the pains, of lay citizens’ efforts to seek to achieve progressive penal policy change.
0007-0955
1252–1269
Annison, Harry Michael John
91ee5a4a-811e-4b57-9fd4-df643465b2a1
Condry, Rachel
aa24a9ea-1b6c-4158-9909-ebbbfffd7374
Annison, Harry Michael John
91ee5a4a-811e-4b57-9fd4-df643465b2a1
Condry, Rachel
aa24a9ea-1b6c-4158-9909-ebbbfffd7374

Annison, Harry Michael John and Condry, Rachel (2022) The pains of hope: families of indeterminate sentenced prisoners and political campaigning by lay citizens. British Journal of Criminology, 62 (5), 1252–1269. (doi:10.1093/bjc/azac039).

Record type: Article

Abstract

This paper examines the politics of crime and insecurity as experienced ‘from below’. We draw on in-depth interviews with families of indeterminate-sentenced prisoners, and policy participants, in order to understand families’ experiences of their relative’s imprisonment under the discredited English Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence and their public campaigning against it. We situate these experiences within broader structural trends, which we conceptualise as penal-familial assemblages. We argue that the experiences cause ‘pains of hope’ for families through a double liminality: first, due to the uncertainties caused by the indeterminate sentence, which brings neither closure nor release. Second, meaningful state action on campaigners’ demands remained elusive, with moments when change appeared close but ultimately remained just out of reach. In conclusion, we draw out the lessons from our study for analysing penal politics. We argue, in particular, for a humanistic recognition of the centrality, and the pains, of lay citizens’ efforts to seek to achieve progressive penal policy change.

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Accepted/In Press date: 26 January 2022
Published date: 16 September 2022

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 468678
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/468678
ISSN: 0007-0955
PURE UUID: c906dfeb-f0b7-4064-9324-3eeb28caec6b
ORCID for Harry Michael John Annison: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6042-038X

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Date deposited: 22 Aug 2022 16:44
Last modified: 24 Sep 2022 01:45

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Author: Rachel Condry

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