A State of Security in Maximum-Security Prisons

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


Picking up the story of English maximum- security prisons where the previous chapter left off, this chapter considers what might be seen as the second era of dispersal prisons, which, I argue, began in 1995 and continues up to the beginning of the second decade of the twenty- first century. It examines the policy and political contexts that contributed to the gradual decline of social welfarist principles in maximum- security prison policy and practice in favour of a more explicit emphasis on austere, harsh and repressive prison regimes. It argues that the decline in social welfarist concerns in penal policymaking was a deliberate political decision that was facilitated by key events and the responses to them. In particular, the introduction of security thinking into maximum- security prisons that coincided with the change in policy focus has proven to be a useful tool for introducing, retaining and legitimising austere and repressive policies.


Criminal Justice Prison Officer Prison Staff Penal Policy Prison Life 
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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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