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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Pastoral penality in 1970s Ireland: Addressing the pains of imprisonment
Author(s): Brangan, Louise
Keywords: Historical criminology
pastoral penality
penal transformation
prison history
Republic of Ireland
Issue Date: 1-Feb-2021
Date Deposited: 12-Jul-2019
Citation: Brangan L (2021) Pastoral penality in 1970s Ireland: Addressing the pains of imprisonment. Theoretical Criminology, 25 (1), pp. 44-65.
Abstract: This article aims to deepen and broaden our US- and UK-centric theories and histories of late 20th-century penal transformation. Using oral history interviews with civil servants, archival research and analysis of published documents, this article investigates Ireland’s delayed progressive penal transformation in the 1970s. It challenges the dominant narrative that Irish penal policy was stagnant or merely pragmatic during this period and provides cultural, social and political explanations for Ireland’s changing penal culture. These findings also show the limitations of penal welfarism for sufficiently capturing the character of Ireland’s progressive penal ideas and intentions. The article outlines the concept of pastoral penality as an alternative kind of progressive penal politics. Pastoral penality focuses on the problems of the prison, rather than the problems of the prisoner, who is not viewed as inherently criminal and in need of treatment. Instead they require support in coping with the harms of imprisonment.
DOI Link: 10.1177/1362480619843295
Rights: Louise Brangan, Pastoral penality in 1970s Ireland: Addressing the pains of imprisonment, Theoretical Criminology, 25 (1), pp. 44-65. Copyright © The Author 2019. Reprinted by permission of SAGE Publications. Reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses. DOI:
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