Paul Rock

in Reconstructing a Women's Prison

Published in print May 1996 | ISBN: 9780198260950
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191682179 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Studies in Criminology


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This book examines a chain of reform efforts to reconstruct Holloway prison, a penal regime and a social world for inmate women. Those efforts were focused firstly on the loftily idealistic work of transforming a Victorian radial prison into a ‘secure hospital’ that would be, as a eulogistic article put it, ‘a tremendous breakthrough in penal institutions’; secondly, they were focused on the struggle to impose order on the disorganisation that ensued, a struggle that seemed at times only to exacerbate disorder; and, finally, on a dramatic confrontation and a culminating catharsis that led to a revelatory glimpse of new possibilities of policy and practice. The main argument of this book is informed by a set of sensitising concepts or expectancies that developed and were expounded at some length in earlier books and articles on policy-making in the criminal justice system.

Keywords: Holloway prison; reforms; penal regime; inmate women; secure hospital; penal institutions; criminal justice system; policy-making

Chapter.  4847 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law

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