The Working Lives of Prison Managers

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

  • Jamie Bennett

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

About this book


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.


Prison management prisons managerialism globalization criminology penology occupation

Authors and affiliations

  • Jamie Bennett
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.HMP Grendon & SpringhillUK
  2. 2.Centre for CriminologyUniversity of OxfordUK

Bibliographic information