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Disciplinary Capital: Forensic Psychology, Expertise, and Penal Power

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Leicester Innovation Hub

128 Regent Road

Leicester

LE1 7PA

United Kingdom

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Prison staff and their varying practices and cultures have been integral to the understanding and discussions of penal power. Much of this discourse has focused on how staff manifest directly coercive forms of power and how this impacts on the vulnerable ‘imprisoned’ population. However, both Mathiesen in his seminal text Prison on Trial (1990) and Crewe in his widely influential The Prisoner Society (2009) note that softer forms of power exist, and have far reaching consequences, in the contemporary prison.

This paper seeks to further this understanding by addressing the manner in which forensic psychology, as a discipline, both creates and cements a wide ranging, and often inescapable, form of penal power. This will involve a discussion on how, as a staff population, forensic psychologists both embody and generate expertise which produces forms of disciplinary capital. This discussion is predicated on research undertaken for doctoral research.

This event is free to attend! Please share within your networks and direct any enquiries to prisons.research@le.ac.uk.

Jason Warr is a Lecturer in Criminology and Criminal Justice at De Montfort University with research interests in penology, sociology of power and the philosophy of science. Funded by an ESRC studentship his PhD was concerned with forensic psychologists employed within British Prisons and is entitled: Forensic Psychologists: Vulnerable Adjuncts to Penal Power

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Leicester Innovation Hub

128 Regent Road

Leicester

LE1 7PA

United Kingdom

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