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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

Disempowerment, governmentality and dispositifs of control in the police station

Peacock, Donna and Cosgrove, Faye (2019) Disempowerment, governmentality and dispositifs of control in the police station. In: 19th Annual Conference of the European Society of Criminology: ConverGENT Convergent roads, bridges and new pathways in criminology, 18th-21st September 2019, Ghent. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Analysis of recent Criminal Justice policy reveals a polarised victim-offender dichotomy based upon penal populism. This approach has deified the victim, and has simultaneously demonised and vilified the offender, and therefore as a result has failed to recognise victimisation and vulnerability within the offender population, or to prioritise the support of vulnerable offenders.
Intensive qualitative research with police officers working in police custody environments and with people working and volunteering in support of offenders has revealed that where support is available for vulnerable offenders it is underfunded and is inconsistent.
In this paper we deconstruct the various discursive, institutional, regulatory, legislative and administrative elements that make up the custody environment. We argue that these form an apparatus of disempowerment that contributes to the denizenship of ‘vulnerable’ people who undergo detention in police custody. Further, we argue that our findings reveal that the support available to vulnerable people is not ultimately to their benefit, but rather conceals more malevolent aims of corroding citizenship and disempowering individuals.

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More Information

Depositing User: Donna Peacock


Item ID: 14587

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Donna Peacock: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 14 Feb 2022 13:39
Last Modified: 18 May 2023 09:36