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The University of Southampton
Southampton Law School

Penal Policymaking: A collaborative symposium

Published: 25 April 2016
Penal Policymaking

On 14 April 2016, a range of policymakers, practitioners, researchers and reform groups came together at a symposium convened by University of Southampton academics in order to address topical issues in criminal justice.

This initiative, co-funded by the ESRC and the Political Studies Association ( PSA ), facilitated deliberation and engagement between stakeholders in support of policy reform. The symposium comprised the following sessions:

Session 1: ‘Developing Sentencing and Penal Policy’

Discussion was stimulated by Dr Harry Annison’s (Law and ICJR, Southampton) key findings from his detailed analysis of the creation, contestation, amendment and (prospective) abolition of the Imprisonment for Public Protection (IPP) sentence. His monograph Dangerous Politics was published by Oxford University Press in October 2015; a briefing paper has also been published and can be accessed here .

Session 2: ‘Practitioners, Policymakers and Penal Policy’

Discussion was prompted by Mark Telford’s (Law and ICJR, Southampton) analysis of youth justice policymaking and the role of practitioners. Details of relevant publications can be found here .

Session 3: ‘Localism, Markets and Criminal Justice Police’

Professor Ian Loader (Oxford University) reflected on his substantial research in the areas of localism, political ideologies and private security. Dr Gwen Robinson (Sheffield University) reflected on her empirical analysis of the effect and implications for probation staff of the Transforming Rehabilitation programme, and the resulting lessons for policymaking.

Attendees included senior policy participants representing police, probation, prisons, sentencers and central government. Organizations included the Ministry of Justice, Parole Board, Justice Committee, Law Commission, National Audit Office, and a range of researchers, service user groups, penal reform groups and voluntary sector representatives. The event was held under the Chatham House Rule.

The lead convener was Dr Harry Annison; the event was co-convened by Mark Telford and Dr John Boswell (Politics, Southampton). Harry Annison commented that, “we are delighted that this initiative has been met with such enthusiasm by the full range of potential participants. We look forward to taking forwards ideas for further research and collaboration with those in attendance.” Requests for further information should be directed to Dr Harry Annison, .

The Institute for Criminal Justice Research (ICJR) is an inter-disciplinary research hub, which was established at Southampton University in 1986 and continues to support the exploration and development of relationships between research, policy and practice. The ICJR ‘sits’ within Southampton Law School, a prestigious teaching and research institution home to leading academics in a range of areas, including criminal justice.

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