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Palgrave Macmillan

The Working Lives of Prison Managers

Global Change, Local Culture and Individual Agency in the Late Modern Prison

ISBN 9781137498946
Publication Date October 2015
Formats No other formats available
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan
Series Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology

This book offers the first ethnographic account of prison managers in England. It explores how globalised changes, in particular managerialism, have intersected with local occupational cultures, positioning managers as micro-agents in the relationship between the global and local that characterises late modernity.
The Working Lives of Prison Managers addresses key aspects of prison management, including how individuals become prison managers, their engagement with elements of traditional occupational culture, and the impact of the 'age of austerity'. It offers a particular focus on performance monitoring mechanisms such as indicators, audits and inspections, and how these intersect with local culture and individual identity. The book also examines important aspects of individual agency, including values, discretion, resistance and the use of power. It also reveals the 'hidden injuries' of contemporary prison managerialism, especially the distinctive effects experienced by women and members of minority ethnic groups.

Jamie Bennett has been a prison manager since 1996 and is currently Governor of HMP Grendon and Springhill, UK. He is also a Research Associate at the University of Oxford, UK, and has edited the Prison Service Journal since 2004. He has written widely on prisons and was awarded a PhD at the University of Edinburgh, UK.

1. Introduction

2. A New Approach to Understanding Prison Managers

3. "...It Just Happened": Becoming a Prison Manager

4. "I Wouldn't Ask You To Do Something I Wouldn't Do Myself": Prison Managers and Prison Office Culture

5. "Our Core Business": Prison Managers, Hard Performance Monitoring and Managerialism

6. "...They've Got an Axe to Grind": Prison Managers, Soft Performance Monitoring and Managerialism

7. "We Haven't Quite Been Turned Into Robots Yet": The Role of Individuality and Subjectivity in Prison Management

8. The Hidden Injuries of Prison Management

9. Prison Managerialism and Beyond

Afterword. "It's a New Way, But... What Have They Lost?": Prison Managerialism in an Age of Austerity


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