Neoliberal austerity measures and welfare state retrenchment have meant that voluntary organizations around the globe are increasingly called upon to perform statutory social services. Despite a large and rising presence in criminal justice service delivery, volunteers and voluntary organizations have scarcely received scholarly analysis. This paper uses interviews, ethnography, and document analysis to explore the penal voluntary sector in Canada. Specifically, how individuals in the penal voluntary sector understand their roles in helping criminalized women and how these perspectives vary across different positions. This paper illuminates how agents occupying different helper positions cultivate divergent understandings of (and justifications for) the help they provide. Bourdieu’s field theory is mobilized to demonstrate how variegated discourses of helping co-exist, conflict, and impact the relational dynamics of the penal voluntary sector and its engagement with criminalized women.
Access it here: https://doi.org/10.1177/1462474519863461
In this chapter, Quinn, Canossini, and Evans offer a new framework for theorizing processes of penal change: palimpsestic penality. Borrowing from the mechanisms of ancient printmaking, this metaphor draws attention to the ways in which logics of punishment may mutate outside the strictures of linear temporality, continually being superimposed, eroded, and re-imagined, as new ideas integrate with those being effaced. The authors mobilize the science fiction anthology series Black Mirror to illustrate this concept in action, arguing that the final episode “Black Museum” performs a palimpsest of the entire series. As Quinn, Canossini, and Evans trace how vigilante justice is constructed, transfigured, and effaced within and between episodes, they position penal change as an interpretive process that reaches toward the past and future simultaneously.
Voluntary sector practitioners working with those in prison and under community supervision encounter difficult disclosures of trauma, violence, bereavement and loss on a daily basis. The emotional heft of supporting criminalized individuals through such circumstances can be considerable on its own, but practitioners must simultaneously navigate the display rules of both their organisations and criminal justice institutions. Despite rising recognition of emotion and emotional labour in criminal justice contexts, the experiences of voluntary sector practitioners have remained relatively invisible. With the responsibility for public service delivery increasingly being placed on the voluntary sector, the need to understand its impacts (on practitioners, service users and for societies) is imperative. Our approach in this chapter spans the penal voluntary sector in two national settings, England and Canada, and examines the emotional work and labour of volunteer and paid practitioners across (overlapping) levels of analysis, encompassing: individual experiences, organisational contexts and sector-level conditions.
On understanding different kinds of "help" in the penal voluntary sector & how I became interested in this research in the first place.