Establishing Long-Term, Maximum-Security Imprisonment in England

  • Deborah H. Drake
Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)


This chapter examines the development of English long- term, maximum- security prison policy and its early practice. The story of the establishment of these prisons is of particular interest because their pedigree includes aspects of liberal Western European penal thinking, but with more punitive tendencies. Informed by considerations of policy and academic literature and interviews with long- serving prison service senior managers and staff, the chapter explores in detail what might be called the first era in the evolution of English long- term, maximum security prisons, which took place between 1968 and 1994. This era saw a continual grappling with the tensions between implementing a liberal regime aimed at rehabilitating prisoners, minimising the negative effects of long- term imprisonment and attempts to establish security and control. By contrast, the second era (discussed in Chapter 4), from 1995 onwards, saw a gradual decline of liberal principles in favour of more austere and repressive prison regimes that were further bolstered by the growing importance of the concept of security.


Death Penalty Prison Sentence Prison System Criminal Justice Policy Liberal Regime 
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Copyright information

© Deborah H. Drake 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deborah H. Drake
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Social Policy and CriminologyThe Open UniversityUK

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