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Howard Journal Best Article Prize

The Howard Journal of Crime and Justice editors review the articles published each year to identify the best article.

Best article prize 2022

The winners in 2022 were Anastasia Chamberlen and Henrique Carvalho (Warwick University) for their article ‘Feeling the absence of justice: Notes on our pathological reliance on punitive justice’.

This article critically examines our relationship with justice in contemporary Western liberal settings, with a particular focus on why our pursuit of justice is intimately entangled with punitive logics. It starts by arguing that we have a predominantly pathological approach to justice, in the sense that it follows a logic that is akin to that displayed in contemporary sensibilities regarding bodily pain. We deploy Drew Leder’s concept of ‘dys-appearance’ to discuss how, in Western liberal societies, justice is primarily experienced negatively as a phenomenon; that is, we mainly become conscious of justice through the painful and episodic experience of injustice. We then explore this phenomenological quality of justice which, we argue, is linked to how the pursuit of justice in these settings predominantly takes a hostile, punitive aspect. The article concludes by exploring how this punitive impulse can be resisted, through what we term a ‘lived sense of justice’.

You can read the article here.

Best article prize 2021

The winner in 2021 was Susie Hulley (University of Cambridge) for her article Defending ‘Co-offending’ Women: Recognising Domestic Abuse and Coercive Control in ‘Joint Enterprise’ Cases Involving Women and their Intimate Partners.

The role of coercive control in women’s offending has been increasingly recognised in law. Yet, there remains a significant blind spot that leads to grossly unfair outcomes for women who are implicated in cases of serious violence with their abusive partners. This article outlines the role that abusive relationships play in women being ‘associated’ with an offence, being present at the scene and unable to withdraw and being implicated in the police investigation. It argues that such relationships must be recognised in legal practice and in the law, to avoid serious miscarriages of justice being enacted upon women who have already been repeatedly failed by the State.

The article is available here.

Best article prize 2020

The winner in 2020 was Professor Steve Tombs, Open University for his article: Home as a Site of State-Corporate Violence: Grenfell Tower, Aetiologies and Aftermaths

Focusing on the aftermaths and consequences of the Grenfell Tower fire, this article reveals the factors which combined to produce a fire that could have such devastating effects. Further, it delineates the discrete ways in which distinct types of harms – physical, emotional and psychological, cultural and relational, and financial and economic – continue to be produced by a combination of State and corporate acts and omissions. Some of these harms are readily apparent, others are opaque and obscured. It concludes by showing how failures to mitigate these factors constitute one manifestation of the more general phenomenon of ‘social murder’.

The article is available here.

Best article prize 2019

The winner of the best article prize 2019 was awarded to Professor Dominique Moran, University of Birmingham, Jennifer Turner, University of Liverpool and Helen Arnold, University of Suffolk, for their article: Soldiering On? The prison-military complex and ex-military personnel as prison officers: Transition, rehabilitation and prison reform

This article argues that criminology has inadequately theorised militarism as it relates to the prison system. This agenda-setting article introduces the ‘prison-military complex’ as a means to initiate examination of militarism in relation to institutions and practices of incarceration. It focuses on a key knowledge gap vis-à-vis the role of ex-military personnel employed as prison staff; and poses key questions about the ways in which military staff and military methods are being directly targeted as a means to reform a prison service reeling from unprecedented levels of violence, self-harm, riots, and escapes. Encouraging criminologists to think beyond stereotypical ideas about the military, the article revolves around a multiscalar articulation of the prison-military complex, discussed here as it relates to reform of the prison system as a whole; the rehabilitation of offenders; and individuals’ ex-military transitions to civilian life.

The article is currently free to access on the Howard Journal’s website and can be found here.

Best article prize 2018

The inaugural winner of the The Howard Journal’s best article prize was Professor Sarah Armstrong, University of Glasgow for her article, Securing Prison through Human Rights: Unanticipated Implications of Rights‐Based Penal Governance.

Abstract: Human rights are a dominant framework for regulating prisons. However, there is little critical interrogation of human rights as they are translated into tools for governance. This article develops a critique of human rights by analysing and considering policy as a means of realising rights. It urges sustained and ethnographic attention to policy settings, arguing that policy exerts a form of agency. To do so, it draws on the anthropology of policy and science and technology studies (STS) suggesting that these fields offer useful tools and insights in the study of policy. Finally, three examples of human rights issues are examined in the Scottish penal context to problematise rights‐driven penal policy and suggest directions for research.

Read the prize-winning article here.

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