Media, Politics and Penal Reform

Influencing Women's Punishment

  • Gemma Birkett

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Prisons and Penology book series (PSIPP)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-ix
  2. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 1-5
  3. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 7-32
  4. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 33-53
  5. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 89-109
  6. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 111-128
  7. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 129-145
  8. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 147-171
  9. Gemma Birkett
    Pages 173-176
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 177-205

About this book


This book examines the nature of relations between penal reform campaigners, journalists and policymakers at the crime-media nexus. With a particular focus on women’s penal policy, Birkett uncovers how reform strategies have augmented and developed under changing governments and the news media spotlight. While penal reformers have traditionally relied on the language of humanitarianism to influence the direction of policy, there remains an array of political and cultural sticking points. With a policy-focused orientation, this study provides a number of pragmatic and practical tips for those wishing to think more strategically about their ability to influence politicians, the media and the public. With unprecedented access to over thirty policy elites working around Westminster and Whitehall during the development of the Corston agenda (and beyond), this engaging and timely work exposes the triumphs and tribulations of such actors for the very first time.


human rights gender penal system criminal justice dignity demonisation prison reform activism Yarl's Wood

Authors and affiliations

  • Gemma Birkett
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyCity, University of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information