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Legitimacy and Criminal JusticeAn International Exploration$
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Justice Tankebe and Alison Liebling

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701996.001.0001

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‘Legitimacy Under Pressure’ In High Security Prisons

‘Legitimacy Under Pressure’ In High Security Prisons

(p.206) 10 ‘Legitimacy Under Pressure’ In High Security Prisons
Legitimacy and Criminal Justice

Alison Liebling

Oxford University Press

Prisons are intensely relational and, some might say, political communities. Prisoners are powerfully alert to matters of justice and respect, or to matters of their own moral treatment, despite some lack of awareness of the implications of these sensitivities for their own morality and behaviour, and an uneven tendency to comprehend or articulate their experiences in abstract conceptual language. They are persuasively articulate about the difference between ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ conduct by prison officers, the effects of staff indifference on their capacity to manage a prison sentence, and about why one prison is more ‘decent’ in its orientation to their condition and treatment than another. The chapter outlines the findings from two detailed studies of a single high security prison over two time periods, with some important methodological innovations and significant policy and political developments occurring in between.

Keywords:   legitimacy, recognition, humanity, prison

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