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Crime, Justice and the Human Condition: Beyond the cris(es) – reframing and reimagining justice

13–14 September 2022, Keble College, University of Oxford

Conference themes

We will consider theoretical, policy and practice-based contributions around a wide range of issues that encompass the broad theme of crime, justice and the human condition. While not an exhaustive list of subjects or sub-topics, we are keen to receive abstracts for papers in the following areas:

Courts and sentencing
Including how court processes impact on the delivery of justice, the use of remand to prison custody; the impact of Sentencing Council guidelines; the relationship between sentencing practices and (over)use of prison as a sanction; comparative sentencing practices and the concepts of equality and proportionality in sentencing.

Crime and gambling harms
Building on the work of the Howard League’s Commission on Crime and Gambling Harms to enhance the understanding of the intersection of addiction to gambling, crime and the response of the criminal justice system; comparative practice; understanding the wider impact and implications of crime and gambling harms

Equality, diversity and inclusion
Including the impact of race and ethnicity on crime, criminal justice policy and practice and the impact of discrimination and exclusion on criminal justice experiences and outcomes.

Future focus for criminal justice system
For example, the rise of internet/ cyber-crime; understanding the potential of technological innovation on criminal justice; learning from lived experience; the use of creative approaches to developing policy and practice or learning from developments in service provision and practice resulting from the current pandemic.

Health and wellbeing
Including how addictions, mental and physical health impact on and are treated by the criminal justice system and the role of public health agendas and the intersection with penal reform.

Human rights
For example, development and impact of a rights based criminal justice system; how can we interrogate current practice through a human rights lens, and what impact would this have?

Personhood and identity
Including how factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, faith, nationality, age, neuro and physical disability relate to and intersect regarding the criminal justice system, its policies, practices and outcomes.

Policing
Including the range of policing practice from welfare to crime control; the assessment of vulnerability in the police station and the use of out of court disposals and police bail.

Prisons
For example, the role of prisons in contemporary society; the role of the prison officer; achieving legitimacy and fairness in prison regimes; ensuring safe prison environments; the role of the voluntary sector in prisons; and how to support prisoners’ reintegration into the community

Probation
Including assessing the reunification of the probation service in England and Wales; the alignment between community sentences and client needs; the role of probation in supporting reintegration into the community; and recall to prison

Social justice and criminal justice
For example, how rights and duties are fulfilled to minimise inequality and maximise opportunities and potential; what are the barriers to social justice and how they might be overcome; what is/should the relationship be between social policy and criminal justice policy? or how can criminal justice institutions work effectively to deliver fair and legitimate outcomes?

Strategies for penal reform
For example, drawing on lessons from history or comparisons with other jurisdictions; the influence of politics and the political process; systemic versus focussed reform; the role of local justice; the role of community or grassroots activism in driving reform; the philosophical underpinning of the criminal justice system

Victims of crime
For example, the role of victims in the delivery of justice; the place of the victim of crime in court process; how victims of hate crime should/are engaged with in the criminal justice system; understanding of the relationship between offending and victimhood.

Youth justice
Including issues around age and maturity; understanding the over-representation of young black men in the penal system; the need for child centric policies and practices; and strategies/approaches to mitigate against the use of the criminal justice system for children and young people.

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