If you can't see the email below properly please click here to view as a web page



Mannheim Matters - March 2012 Edition


News and Notes

Welcome to the July 2012 edition of Mannheim Matters. In this issue we feature a seminar honour Emeritus Professor Terry Morris celebrating his career and achievements, report on a book launch for James Sheptycki and Ben Bowling and review a play about stop and search  which Mike Shiner was the executive producer. If you have any news items or features you wish to include please email Jennifer Brown. Also we are experimenting with a blog, so if you would like to post anything or get some advice about format please contact:  J.Brown5@lse.ac.uk

The Mannheim Centre Home Page
Upcoming Events
Mannheim Centre Staff Members
Mannheim Centre Research Students


Meet ...Sharon Shalev

I’ve been at the LSE for more than 14 years. During this time I’ve seen colleagues and School Directors come and go, buildings and bridges and cafés pop up, and other buildings (well, two!) come down in a cloud of dust.  In short, I am virtually part of the furniture now.


I joined the School during what is now thought of as a golden era, when many of Criminology’s finest were based at the LSE, and when the legendary Tuesday seminars were running every week. Ah, those were the days! Things have changed, though as a quick look at the list of Mannheim colleagues reveals, the Centre still attracts some of the best minds in the area, and I am proud to be part of it.


I have come to academia through an unusual route. My first degree was in Political Science and International Affairs, and (after short stints as – amongst other occupations- a travel agent in Israel, a diamond dealer in Denver, Colorado and a free spirit in Vancouver, Canada) I began working for a human rights organisation called Israeli-Palestinian Physicians for Human Rights.  This was in the early 1990’s, the days of the first ‘intifada’ or Palestinian uprising. It was then that I first came across the use of solitary confinement- in this case as a method for interrogating detainees. Although it did not leave any physical scars, it was obvious that the aim of isolating detainees was to apply psychological pressure on them, and that solitary confinement caused intense suffering.


I became interested in if and how international law addresses the use of solitary confinement, and if and how the practice is regulated. Little did I know then that this issue would continue to fascinate me for the next twenty years! 


Several years later I had chance to investigate these questions in more detail, in the context of doing an LLM in International Human Rights Law at Essex University. I discovered that, although the potentially devastating effects of solitary confinement on the human mind were widely recognised, and although the UN addressed its use in several human rights instruments and had even called for its abolition, solitary confinement was very much alive and well and widely practiced across the world. I also discovered, much to my surprise, that in the US a new type of prison had emerged- the so called ‘supermax’ prisons, where large numbers of prisoners were kept in strict and prolonged solitary confinement for years and in some cases decades. 


A number of years and several funding applications later, in 1998 I joined the LSE to undertake a PhD, under the attentive supervision of Stan Cohen and later David Downes, examining the (then) little-known phenomenon of these large warehouses of isolation in the US. I learned that, though equipped with the most modern, high technology designs available, supermax prisons were, in fact, a variation on an age-old theme -  the principles underling their operation had been laid out in the ‘silent’ and ‘separate’ penitentiaries of the 19th century. I also discovered that the lessons learnt from these historic prisons- namely that solitary confinement devastates the human mind, fails to reform offenders and is extremely expensive to maintain- were completely ignored by those who devised and promote the modern day supermax.


The rest, as they say, is history. My PhD findings (and more) can be found in my book, Supermax: controlling risk through solitary confinement (Willan, 2009) and on my website, www.solitaryconfinement.org 


Having focused much of my research time and energy on the USA, I have recently decided to turn my gaze to practices of solitary confinement more widely. I have also decided that it was time to venture out a little and explore pastures new. To this end, I joined the Criminology Centre at Oxford University first as an Associate and then as a Researcher. In my capacity as the latter and with generous assistance from the Fell Foundation, earlier this year I embarked on a pilot study examining European policies and practices of solitary confinement.  These are early days in my research, but it’s clear already that this is rich and interesting territory which is likely to keep me occupied for some time to come.  

Australian Research Council Centre for Excllence in Policing, Brisbane, Australia (CEPS) by Mark Kebbell

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security (CEPS) was established in 2007 under the ARC Centres of Excellence special initiative to boost policing and security research capacity in Australia.  Headquartered at Griffith University, the ARC Centre partnership includes The Australian National University, The University of Queensland, and Charles Sturt University. The Centre was funded for five years in the first instance, with an additional two years of funding coming in 2012 to fund us up to 2014. The bulk of funding comes from the Australian Research Council supplemented with funding from the Queensland Police Service, Victoria Police Service, the Australian Federal Police and a number of other bodies. We have five aims: to deliver an exceptional and internationally renowned program of research; to play a key role in developing the next generation of policing and security scholars; to stimulate increased research and policy interest in national and international policing and security issues; to effectively engage the public, research, policy and practitioner environments on policing and security issues; and to achieve national and international distinction. Much of what we do is covered in detail in our website www.ceps.edu.au and I encourage interested readers to have a look.                                                                                                 

Setting up such a large organisation inevitably has its challenges. Academics are used to working independently and many police officers have little experience of working with academics directly. We rapidly realised we needed direct links with our police colleagues and have achieved this with Police Fellows based at CEPS. Our current police fellow is Inspector Jason Saunders from Queensland Police Service. His role includes helping negotiate programs of research that meet police needs and are academically rigorous. Combining these two aims means we can often access data and police resources that would otherwise be unavailable to us. It also allows us to understand policing to a greater extent and consequently our ideas and theories are exposed to reality which is necessary for them to be tested effectively and refined.

We were genuinely multi-disciplinary from the start. Our members include psychologists, police officers, lawyers, criminologists, statisticians, journalists and historians. This allows us to understand problems in depth in order to develop solutions. For instance, many of what we think of as ‘new’ problems such as pornography, child sex offences, border control and terrorism have been the focus of attention for a long time and benefit from an understanding of historical approaches. Another example of using a multidisciplinary approach concerns the pervasive nature of the media. For instance, we recently helped develop a risk assessment tool to assess risk for men on the Australian National Child Offender Register. Whilst clearly the most important factor in this endeavour is the protection of children from abuse it was also important to ensure the tool was legal, and if leaked to the media would have sufficient face-validity to withstand media scrutiny. For these reasons a multidisciplinary approach is essential.   

As we finish our first five years and look forward to the next five we have learnt a great deal. First, engagement with police has a tendency to be sidetracked by day-to-day crises that make a coherent research program impossible. Instead researchers and police need to identify persistent themes to collaborate on. For example, themes that will always be relevant year-in year-out include police integrity, police use of force, investigative capacity and leadership. Second, the World is changing and so is policing. Technology will continue to advance and this will provide opportunities for both criminals and police. ‘Western’ nations are becoming increasingly diverse and this poses fresh challenges for police and communities. Academia needs to be at the forefront of these changes shedding light on the best ways forward. Third, much of academic work clusters around narrow themes and particular paradigms. For instance, whilst domestic violence and sex offending are incredibly important areas of research, they receive a disproportionate level of research attention compared with male on male violence which can be equally devastating for the victims. Our Centre aims to be at the forefront of advancing what is needed to deliver our aim of a “safer Australia.”


Recent Publications

December 2011 - Phillips, C. and Earle, R. (2011) – ‘Cultural Diversity, Ethnicity and Race Relations’, in B. Crewe and J. Bennett (eds.) The Prisoner. London: Routledge.


January 2012 - Phillips, C. (2012) ‘It Ain’t Nothing Like America with the Bloods and the Crips: Gangs Inside Two English Prisons in Punishment and Society 14(1): 51-68.


Robert Reiner has a chapter on the causes of crime in a Fabian pamphlet entitled Reform and Punishment and a forthcoming paper What's Left? The prospects for Social Democratic Criminology to be published in Crime Media Culture.


Book Launch Event

16th May 2012: Global Policing 

Ben Bowling and James Sheptycki presented an overview of their new book discussing a model looking at global policing organisations such as Interpol, national policing bodies and local provision of policing. They make important distinctions between private and public policing, people and places and notions of high and low policing, with the latter matters of national concern such as terrorism and the latter localised policing of neighbourhoods. They introduced the term "iatrogenesis" borrowed from medicine and means adverse effects introduced by treatments to try and explain the security control paradox: the greater the promise of security the less secure we feel.

Robert Reiner acted as a discussant and presented his view of this "massively impressive " book as accentuating the negative. He touched on the use of power rather than authority, making the observations that global policing does not seem to reach tax havens, the Southern hemisphere generally appears over policed and under protected and those agencies which seem to be barely touched by the law or democratic accountabilities.

Mannheim/BSC Wednesday Seminar 14 March 2012 14th March

Rachel Condry talked about her work on adolescent to parent violence which she explained was work in progress. Previous research on this topic is patchy and prevalence estimates vary between 7 and 29%. A further problem is difficulties over terminology, youth violence, parent abuse. Furthermore data on this for of violence does not appear in domestic violence statistics as often the perpetrators are too young. This is a complex form of violence and it requires nuanced understanding.

Rachel described her ESRC funded research that she is conducting with Caroline Miles. They have undertaken 100 interviews with police, parents, adolescents and social workers as well as looking at case files.

She explained that this topic has not been on the criminological research agenda and that it falls between the different service provision dealing with anti social behaviour and youth justice. There is also the problem of stigma and the shame parents feel as well as parents not wishing to report their children’s violence. Thus this is another under reported crime.

The characteristics on invisible crime (identified by Davies, Francis and Jupp) suggest it is where there is little knowledge or theorising, few statistics, and a degree of panic about both the problem and its implications. Rather like child abuse their is a collective denial. And like child abuse, adolescent committed domestic violence is seen as a private family problem and victims are blamed for the abuse. Child abuse came to light through grass roots campaigning and there is the emergence of some campaigning about adolescent abase of parents which represents a start in breaking the silence about this problem.

BEYOND PENTONVILLE: The Lives of an Incarcerating Institution and a Criminological Classic


Robert Reiner organised a special seminar to celebrate the work of  Terry Morris. Robert assembled a stellar cast, to reflect on Terry's contribution to criminology. Terry has written a wonderful piece about this seminal work, and you can also read Sir Louis Blom Cooper's speech given at the event.


Included in the event were some wonderful photographs. especially evocative were pictures  of post war Croydon which serve to remind us how bleak things were then.


Professor Emeritus of Criminology and Criminal Justice in the University of London, Terence Morris was the first director of the Mannheim Centre and taught at LSE from 1955-95. He has been a visiting academic in the University of the West Indies, Jamaica, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Manitoba.



Alison Liebling gave the first of three talks. She listed  a few facts about  Pentonville: it is  170 years old,  and is the oldest purpose built prison in Europe. It has the biggest and longest wing.  There have been 39 escapes. Prison employment rates are half today compared to when the  Morris’ undertook their study. The  study of Pentonville co-incided with the high point of penal optimism and was the first sociological study of its kind. The  study found a confused and cynical staff  and a rampant drugs problem. Alison remarked that she had re-read Pentonville after a number of years and was not disappointed by the re-discovery of the book.


Alison’s paper will be published in the next issue of the Prison Journal.


Sir Louis Blom Cooper then talked about his professional association and friendship with Terry and described their involvement in the abolition of capital punishment. An article by them appeared in The Sunday Observer in 1961


In this edition, which incidentally covered the Eichmann trial in Israel, presented some  data showing   interesting similarities and difference when compared to more recent figures. During the 1930s to 1950s homicide rate as measured per million population fluctuated between 3.4 and 4.4. In 2008/9 the equivalent risk is 12 per million population.  The rate certainly rose after the abolition of the death penalty in 1964 but the U.K’s murder rate compared to the US is still very low. More males are murder victims now than pre abolition. In 2008/9  83%  of homicide victims are male compared to 45% in 1960, although there was a difference between capital and non capital offences then. For the former 60% were male and the latter it was 42%.


In 1960 23% of suspects committed suicide whilst latterly it is less that 3%. In 1960s infanticide and concealment of births were negligible  and are still so today. Murder associated with theft remains stable   with 9% of offences associated  with this in 1960 compared to 7%  more recently but that associated with quarrelling or fighting has tripled in percentage terms.



Professor Dick Hobbs provided an affection reflection of Terry  and described the latter’s route to the Pentonville study : Croydon via Chicago. He described Terry as a wonderful story teller, charismatic teacher with a mighty turn of phrase. Descriptions of the “topping shed” in Pentonville and the silence that descend on the prison when there was an execution are masterful.  Rod Morgan in the panel discussion described the accoutrements necessary to conduct a hanging listed in the Morris’ book: pinioning apparatus, cap, bag and weight, chalk, copper wire, pack thread, tackle, chair and tackle pin. Chilling stuff.


The panel comprising Philip Bean, Elaine Player, Barry Mitchell, John Carrier and Rod Morgan gave testament to Terry’s significant contribution as a teacher, as director of the Mannheim Centre, his role in the abolition debate and his clear, colourful and  jargon free writing style. He was pivotally involved in the development of British criminology. Elaine remarked on Terry’s love of dogs and Rod Terry’s sailing prowess both interests marking him out as a special human being.



There was a wonderful event organised for Robert on the occasion of the presentation of his festschrift volume to be reported fully in the next edition of the Newsletter.


Congratulations to Kevin Stenson who has been awarded a visiting professorship here at LSE.


Professor Jennifer Brown participated in a seminar organised by Baroness Stern (19th June) as a follow up to the Stern report on the investigation and prosecution of rape. Jennifer discussed some research she and Nicole Westmarland are currently undertaking on the efficacy of specialist rape investigation teams.


Jennifer also gave a keynote presentation to the Policing 2012 Conference on delivering accountabilities and results (12th June)  providing an account of the work of the Independent Commission into the Future of Policing. This described the working method of the Commission and present some preliminary issues for the Commissioners to consider.


These she represented as a number of dichotomies:

  • Single focus crime control or  multi purpose mission

  • Election versus appointment modes of accountability

  • Creating a profession or becoming more professional

  • Centralism versus localism

  • To privatise or not to privatise

You can access the Commission's web site for more information about work in progress.


Jennifer also went to Lisbon to a conference organised by the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon where she talked about some restorative justice approaches in cases of rape.

Poder e Autoridade Policiais; o lugar das vítimas.

Police power and authority; the place of victims.

Lisbon, Portugal – 23rd and 24th of February, 2012

For a full copy of the Specialist rape investigation presentation, Policing paper or Lisbon conference powerpoint  please contact Jennifer atJ.Brown5@lse.ac.uk


Mike Shiner was the executive producer of this production which was about Black people's experience of Stop and Search. Written by Dominic Taylor with a cast including  Renée Castle, Valentine Hanson, Jelissa Campbell and Jerome Holder as members of a family caught up in the consequences of stop and search. Mike was quoted in the Guardian about the play and young people's experiences "We have interviewed parents who talk of having to prepare their children for being stopped and searched. What can be more perverse than a parent having to protect a child against the agent who should be there to protect them? When we were doing the research for the play we were struck by how early this stuff is starting. Young people tell us that they start to get stopped and searched as soon as they start secondary school."

According to Stopwatch, black people are seven times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people and Asian people twice as likely. The arrest rate following stop and search is 12 per cent and has stayed between 10-13 per cent for the last ten years. The play caught the frustration and deep feelings of unfairness felt by people caught up in stop and search and a sense of shock in the audience of how many times a young person might be subjected to this.

Sharon Shalev participated in and presented her work on Supermax prisons in a seminar entitled  "Held in the Body of the State" organised by the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at  the London School of Economics and Political Science on May 8th.

Cor Coretta Phillips was a panellist of a Parliamentary event on reducing reoffending for ethnic minority offenders, attended by Prisons Minister Crispin Blunt, organised by the Runnymede Trust and Black Training & Enterprise Group (BTEG) on 17 January 2012.

·    She was also a presenter at a British Society of Criminology organised event with the Home Office and Ministry of Justice examining ‘big picture’ questions from academic research, on 20 March 2012. My presentation looked at continuities in the patterns of racial/ethnic disproportionality in the criminal justice process, and issues arising from the complexity of late modern identities for social relations in men’s prisons.

Aung San Suu Kyi Visits LSE

Niki Lacey was on a panel with  Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Also on the panel were  Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor Nicola Lacey, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC and Dr Maung Zarni.The title of the discussion was  "The Role of Law."


Niki commented that the the Law needs to be accessible, clear and predictable. Moreover, it must have respect for Human Rights and treat people as persons with dignity and also be compliant with the demands of International obligations. It is an important discipline to subject the State to procedural Law. In States going through a period of democratic transformation, the rule of Law requires a sense of what is politically, socially and economically appropriate to the country's particular circumstances and this will dictate what institutions can be built to effect the transformation. She pointed to the example of South Africa which engaged in institutional innovation such as the peace and reconciliation commission. Such institutional arrangements must be located within the social structures in order to be able to relate to the people. Niki concluded that such institutions would never be perfect and that this was work in progress


Sir Geoffrey Nice QC indicated that critical to the work of transformation was coming to terms with the past and that that might be achieved in a number of ways. People need to know what went on and why, not least they needed to know where their dead relatives were buried so that they could mourn. Whatever the arrangements, they must acknowledge the hurt if a country is to succeed in its transition where its people can enjoy nights of peaceful sleep.


Professor Chinkin was asked to comment on justice for women in Burma. She observed that the reform of judicial institutions must enable secure and ready access to justice for those suffering sexual violence. There must be no immunity for the military violators and that failure to enforce the Law is a failure of accountability leading to a normalisation of violence and weakens the transition to Democracy.


Dr Maung Zarni asked us to consider the plight of the stateless and the need for all to have a sense of place and belongingness. He also asked us to reflect on our own illiberal tendencies and he concluded that the well-being of the individual is more important than the security of the State.


Aung San Suu Kyi herself, whose birthday it was, felt optimistic that she and her party could work with the Military to amend the Constitution and achieve the transparency and accountability necessary for good governance and reform based on the Rule of Law.


Niki writes of her experience on the panel "I had the privilege of being invited to join the panel held at LSE on Tuesday June 19th to discuss the rule of law with Aung San Suu Kyi.   As anyone who was there will testify, it was a memorable event.  At Aung San Suu Kyi's request, the event opened with a brief presentation by four panellists in response to questions submitted by the audience.  This must have been frustrating for the audience, and it was perhaps unfortunate that the basis for this arrangement was not explained to them during the (rather nerve-wracking) time during which those of us on the panel were waiting in front of the cameras for the proceedings to begin.   When she arrived with her aides, the whole audience rose to their feet for an extended standing ovation. What was striking was her apparently serenity amid the adulation.   Yet more beautiful in person than she appears on the screen or in photographs, she admittedly looks tired and slightly strained (how could it be otherwise, amid such a gruelling tour?).  During our presentations, her face was quite impassive: I had the sense of her reaching down into herself for resources of energy.  Judging by the acute and brilliantly focused answers, I now think that she was simply concentrating very hard. The minute she began to speak, one had the sense of exceptional intelligence, political commitment and moral authority.  (Not to mention an articulacy that any academic, politician or lawyer would envy.)  And amid the intensity, there are lovely flashes of warmth and humour: asked how she had survived her long ordeal, she referred to having a 'stubborn' streak with a delightful and striking lightness.  One also saw flashes of her steel: in response to a question which implied that she had failed adequately to condemn violence against a particular group, her decisive response - that she condemned all violence - was brilliantly in keeping with her overall message about the rule of law and human rights, while being seamlessly followed up with a calmly reasoned set of arguments about the need to establish reliable information about the situation under discussion.  One had the sense of a woman who is utterly in command of the relevant information; clear about her values and commitments; on top of the arguments which most effectively support them; and able to think on her feet and express her ideas concisely yet with nuance".  


Post-grad Update

Meet the Crims

43 undergraduate students on the Crime, Deviance and Control course participated in the ‘Meet the Crims’ project which involved small student groups, managed by Mannheim Ph.D. students, video interviewing  Jennifer Brown,  David Downes, Roger Graef,  Frances Heidensohn,  Coretta Phillips, Robert Reiner, Paul Rock,  Betsy Stanko, Tim Newburn, and Maurice Punch, about their work.  


Students read selected pieces of their chosen criminologists’ research, prepared the questions they wanted to ask and then ran the interviews that were professionally recorded by Darren Moon from our Centre for Learning Technology.  In the project evaluations students said that although their task was ‘initially daunting’ they found the experience ‘thought provoking’, ‘interesting’, ‘illuminating and educational’.   Some ‘loved it’ and said the experience had developed their ‘interest in the field’.   Students also reported finding their Criminologist’s knowledge and intelligence ‘awe-inspiring’ and said the interviews had given them a ‘good insight into a Criminologists life experience’ and that they had ‘enjoyed hearing their views rather than just reading their work’.  They were often surprised too about how ‘engaging’ their Crims were (well done Crims!) and about how open and ‘willing’ they were ‘to listen’ to students.    


The project wasn’t just enjoyable it also had a pedagogic rationale – intending to help students develop a greater knowledge and understanding of different aspects of criminological theory and different criminological topics as well as helping them prepare for assessed essays.  Having read the essays, and looking at the marks they gained, it was clear that the project work fulfilled these aims as well as being very interesting reads.    


Given the project’s success and, the richness of the interview material obtained, we are hoping to extend the project next year to a broader range of Criminologists with the aim of eventually publishing a book with selected extracts from the ‘Meet the Crims’ interviews -alongside a companion web-site so that the full interviews can be viewed.   In the mean-time next year’s Crime and Deviance students have the benefit of being able to view the interviews and to hear at first hand some of our most renowned Criminologists discussing their work.


Dr Janet Foster

22 June 2012

Jude Saverus, one of the students involved in the project writes

 "Following extensive research into the work of our chosen Criminologists, we constructed and conducted a semi-structured interview in order to further develop our understanding of a specific criminological issue. The project was personally useful in three main ways.  Firstly, it was an opportunity to receive “first hand” clarification of a few tricky concepts. Discussing and respectfully challenging ideas within the literature developed our own understanding. For example, we were initially confused about the differences between institutional racisms and racialisations. However, following our inquiry, the Criminologist comprehensively explained the subtle differences and the contexts from which each term emerged.  Another benefit was that we were able to critically engage with these debates within our own written work. Recording the interview meant that we were able to reference it within our own writing. This enabled those who found it harder to engage with the literature, for whatever reason, as they could reference a source they were part of and therefore might have been more likely to engage. 

Finally, I think the project had value beyond the Criminology itself. It not only improved our interview skills but also provided a space in which we observed academics in a different light.

BSC Presentations
Mannheim Post-grads continue to have a strong showing at conferences, and both Daniel Bear and Johannes Reiken will be presenting their work at the upcoming BSC conference in Portsmouth.

Hermann Mannheim quote of the month

In 1940 Hermann Mannheim published “Social Aspects of Crime in England between the Wars.” This contains two chapters on juvenile delinquency. He notes that the majority of offences were property crimes with most offenders coming from the unskilled working class in families where there was either a step mother or father. He writes (pages 263-264)


“The forms issued by the Borstal Association for the use of Social Workers charged with the case contain the following question: “What reason do his people give for his going wrong?” The answers given by parents, although very laconic, are usually most significant…Not seldom the answer is simply “ cannot give any reasons”, “cannot understand” more frequently are brought forward some sort of accident that occurred in early childhood.., or spoiling by a grandmother or by an aunt or “his own waywardness” (or laziness”), or death of a father (or mother). When the parents are on bad terms with each other, we may also find “inherited from father (or mother).” By far the most prominent however are: “no work to do” coupled with “no pocket money” and “no interests” and above all , in perhaps 70 or 80 per cent of cases.. the notorious “bad company”.

From The Archives


“Huddled together on the workhouse steps in Short’s Gardens, those wrecks of humanity, the crawlers of St Giles’s may be seen. As a rule they are old women reduced by vice and poverty to that degree of wretchedness which destroys the energy even to beg.

Stale bread, half used tea leaves are their principle diet. As the women rise they crawl slowly towards Drury Lane, where there is a coffee shop keeper who takes compassion on these women and supplies them gratuitously with boiling water. Warm tea is thus procured at a minimum cost and the poor woman’s lives prolonged. But old age and want of proper food and rest reduces them to a lethargic condition which can scarcely be preferable to death itself”.


Street Life of London, 1877 by John Thomson and Adolphe Smith.

Forthcoming Events

4th October
Professor Andrew Ashworth will be presenting the next lecture in the What if series with Kier Starmer, the DPP as a discussant.

To Do in London


If you wish to unsubscribe from this email click here