Post-release reforms for short prison sentences: re-legitimising and widening the net of punishment

Cracknell, Matthew (2018) Post-release reforms for short prison sentences: re-legitimising and widening the net of punishment. Probation Journal, 65 (3). pp. 302-315. ISSN 0264-5505 (doi:10.1177/0264550518776779)

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Abstract

Transforming Rehabilitation (TR) promised a ‘revolution’ in the way offenders are managed, providing a renewed focus on short sentence prisoners. The TR reforms extends mandatory post-release supervision and tailored through-the-gate resettlement provisions to a group that has predominately faced a ‘history of neglect’ yet often present with the most acute needs within the criminal justice system. However, existing literature underlines that serving short sentences lack ‘utility’ and can be counter-productive to facilitating effective rehabilitation.

This article explores the purposes of providing post release supervision for short sentences, firstly exploring a previous attempt to reform short sentences; (the now defunct) ‘Custody Plus’ within the 2003 Criminal Justice Act and then the Offender Rehabilitation Act 2014 within the TR reforms. This article contends that both post release reforms have sought to re-affirm and re-legitimise prison as the dominant form of punishment in society- or what Carlen refers to as ‘carceral clawback’. This article will also use Cohen’s analysis on social control to establish that post release supervision will serve to ‘widen the net’ extend the period of punishment and oversight and will only reinforce a form of enforced ‘state obligated rehabilitation’ that will undermine efforts made to resettle short sentence prisoners.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
Item ID: 23943
Notes on copyright: Matthew Cracknell, Post-release reforms for short prison sentences: Re-legitimising and widening the net of punishment', Probation Journal (Volume 8, Issue 3) pp. 302-315. Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications.
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Depositing User: Matt Cracknell
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2018 17:06
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 10:18
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/23943

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