Theories of imprisonment

High quality theoretical studies of imprisonment, advancing our understanding of issues related to imprisonment across the globe.

Recent Publications


Goldsmith, A., Halsey, M. & Groves, A. (2015) Tackling Correctional Corruption: Best Practice in Detection and Prevention, London: Palgrave.

Pratt, J. (2016) The Prison Diary of A.C. Barrington:  Dissent and Conformity in Wartime New Zealand. Otago: Otago University Press.


Tubex, H. and Green, D.A. (Eds.) (2015) Special issue: Punishment, values, and local culturesPunishment & Society, 17(3).


Baldry, E., Carlton, B. & Cunneen, C. (2015) ‘Abolitionism and the paradox of penal reform in Australia: colonialism, context, cultures and cooption‘. Social Justice. Vol 41 (3): 168-89.

Crewe, B. (2015) ‘Inside the belly of the penal beast: Understanding the experience of imprisonment’, in Tubex, H. and A. Eriksson (Eds.), The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 4(1): 50-65.

Crewe, B. and Leibling, A. (2015) ‘Staff culture, authority and prison violence‘, Prison Service Journal, 221: 9-14.

Green, D.A. (2015) 'US penal reform catalysts, drivers, and prospects', Punishment & Society 17(3), 271-298.

Ievins, A. and Crewe, B. (2015) ‘Nobody’s better than you, nobody’s worse then you’: Social relationships among prisoners convicted of sex offences’Punishment and Society, 17(4): 482-501.

Pratt, J. & Miao, M. (2017) ‘Penal Populism: The End of Reason’, Nova Criminis, 9(13), pp. 71-105.

Pratt, J. (2016) ‘Risk, control, rights and legitimacy in the limited liability state’, British Journal of Criminology: an international review of crime and society.

Rowe, S, Baldry, E & Earles, W. (2015) ‘Decolonising social work research: Learning from critical Indigenous approaches’Australian Social Work, 68(3), 296-308.

Sandberg, S. and Ugelvik, T. (2016) The past, present, and future of narrative criminology: An appraisal and an invitation. Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal.  ISSN 1741-6590.

Tubex, H. (2015) ‘Reach and Relevance of Prison Research’. Special Issue The International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, (2015).

Tubex, H., Brown, D., Freiberg, A., Gelb, K., and Sarre, R. (2015) ‘Penal diversity within Australia‘, Punishment and Society, 17(3): 345-373.

Tubex, H. and Eriksson, A. (2015) ‘Guest editor’s introduction: Challenges of contemporary prison research‘, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 4(1): 1-3.

Ugelvik, Thomas (2016) 'Techniques of Legitimation: The Narrative Construction of Legitimacy among Immigration Detention Officers', Crime, Media, Culture: An International Journal.  ISSN 1741-6590.


Bosworth, M, Hasselberg, I and Turnbull, S (2016) ‘Imprisonment in a Global World: Rethinking Penal Power‘ in Jewkes, Y, Crewe, B. and Bennett, J. (Eds), Handbook of Prisons, Oxford: Routledge, pp. 698-711.

Green, D.A. (2016) Liberty, justice, and all: The folly of doing good by stealth. In A. Dzur, I. Loader and R. Sparks (Eds.) Democratic theory and mass incarcerationStudies in penal theory and philosophy series (pp. 187-212). New York: Oxford University Press.

Halsey, M. (2016) ‘On Boot-Camps and Wayward Youth',  in McGarry, R. & Walklate, S. (Eds) Handbook of Criminology and War, London: Palgrave MacMillan.

Tubex, H. (2017) Political Economy and Punishment in Australia, in: Melossi, D., Sozzo, M. and Brandariz-García, J.A., (eds) The political economy of punishment today: Visions, debates and challenges. London: Routledge.

Ugelvik, T. (2015) ‘The Rapist and the Proper Criminal: The Exclusion of Immoral Others as Narrative Work on the Self‘, in L. Presser & S. Sandberg (Eds.), Narrative Criminology: Understanding Stories of Crime. New York: NYU Press.


Homel, Kinner & Wallis (2016) Submission to an Enquiry by the National Children’s Commissioner on the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture (OPCAT) in the Context of Youth Justice Detention Centres. Brisbane: Griffith University


Tubex, H. (2015) Book Review of Penal Culture and Hyperincarceration: The revival of the Prison, by Chris Cunneen, Eileen Baldry, David Brown, Mark Brown, Melanie Schwartz and Alex SteelPunishment and Society, 18(4).


Tubex, H. (2015) ‘State of imprisonment: Lopsided incarceration rates blight West.’ The Conversation, (April 16, 2015).

View the full list of recent post-imprisonment publications here.

Current Projects

2017-2018 – Australian Institute of Criminology, Criminology Research Grants, Pocketing the Proceeds of Crime: The Legislation, Criminological Perspectives and Experiences. Chief Investigators: A/Prof Natalie Skead, A/Prof Hilde Tubex, A/Prof Sarah Murray, Dr Tamara Tulich.

2016-2018 – Marsden Fund grant award, Intolerable Risks.  The search for security in an age of anxiety. Chief Investigators: Prof John Pratt (Victoria University of Wellington). How we punish offenders has become one of the distinguishing features of democratic society itself. However, current changes in penal law and practice in most of the main English speaking societies reverse some of the most fundamental principles that have come to be associated with this social institution. These can include post-prison detention on completion of sentence instead of release: and the use of penal measures to control movement in public space before a crime has been committed. This project provides a sociological explanation of these profound changes to the penal frameworks of New Zealand and similar societies.

2012-2017 – European Research Council Subjectivity, Identity and Penal Power: Incarceration in a Global Age. Chief Investigators: Prof Mary Bosworth (Oxford University). Taking the prison and the immigration detention centre as sites where local/national and global power intersect, this project will examine theoretically and empirically the ways in which people experience and negotiate such places, paying particular attention to how matters of identity, especially race, gender, national identification and their intersections, shape the experience, meaning and effects of incarceration.

2012-2017– European Research Council, Incarceration in a Global Age. Chief Investigators: Prof Mary Bosworth (Oxford University). This sub-project to “Subjectivity, Identity and Penal Power: Incarceration in a Global Age” will explore what happens to our understanding of punishment when we place matters of identity and subjectivity at the centre of analysis. It will provide the theoretical framework for the whole project that will be constituted in part by empirical research. Revisiting the canon of texts in punishment and society, theoretical and applied, through the question of identity, it will develop a new, gendered, postcolonial approach to penal power.

Completed Projects

2015 – The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Interdisciplinary Roundtable on Punitiveness in America. Chief Investigator:  A/Prof David A. Green.