An educational resource at the heart of criminological teaching, debate, and research

Social data

The Harper Government Omnibus Crime Bill

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A brief guide on what is wrong with Canada's current approach to crime control, beautifully simple, accurate and quite amusing [unless you're Canadian, and American, and British etc]:

Bill C-10 - The Harper Government Omnibus Crime Bill

Sport and desistance from crime

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The Role of Sport in Promoting Desistance from Crime: An Evaluation of the 2nd Chance Project Rugby and Football Academies at Portland Young Offender Institution

I've never met her but I love Dr. Rosie Meek's enthusiasm and passion for the research she carried out and, as the son of a professional footballer who coached kids' teams in later life and the nephew of a prison art teacher, I cannot but agree that sport should have a much greater role in the treatment and rehabilitation of offenders. Although I would add that some of the tackles you used to get in local football asked for a prison sentence......

She writes: "After two years of gathering data at the prison and in the community I now have a large and complex quantitative dataset which has revealed important findings,supported by rich qualitative transcripts which bring vividly to life the stories of the individuals whose futures have been transformed through participation in the initiative.....The results clearly confirm that sport can be an effective tool for engaging with young prisoners, and I hope that funding bodies, sporting organisations, policy makers and prisons will commit to developing collaborative efforts to continue this innovative and effective approach.


Research Summary

• A total of 81 young male adult offenders at HMP YOI Portland participated over a two year period.

• Participants were representative of the male young adult prisoner population according to offence category and risk

of reoffending.

• Of the fifty participants who have been released over the past 18 months, nine have reoffended or been recalled to

prison, representing an 18% reconviction rate (compared to a prison average of 48% after one year).

• Statistically significant improvements were observed in established measures of conflict resolution, aggression,

impulsivity, and attitudes towards offending following participation.

• Qualitative interviews and testimonies illustrate the positive impact of participation on behaviour within the prison,

staff-prisoner relationships and the resettlement opportunities of prisoners in managing the transition from custody

to community.

• The evaluation findings have verified that the project has facilitated a unique opportunity for delivery staff and

community partners to engage with those prisoners who can be especially hard-to-reach. The initiative has enabled

offenders and delivery staff to develop positive support and mentoring relationships, and has motivated individuals to

take responsibility for their actions, and inspired them to generate positive aspirations for the future.

• Despite initially being of the opinion that the resettlement component of the academy would merely replicate existing

provision, members of prison staff have found the expertise of 2nd Chance an indispensable aspect of their work.

• In providing specialist help that is tailored to an individual’s complex needs, the through-the-gate involvement of 2nd

Chance has enabled offenders to maintain positive support relationships across the critical transition from custody to



Quantitative easing - the comedy

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I just have to put this in here. It is very, very, funny, and people do need to know about quantitative easing and Goldman Sachs in the construction of the new Europe. How many ex-GS senior executives now have hogh positions in EU governments? 

Quantitative easing explained

Mass Observation

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Mass Observation was a fascinating major project begun in the 1930's to document the detailed features of ordinary everyday lives and cultures in the UK. In my view, it emerged out of the convergence of several developments: a] the turning of anthropology towards the West iself, b] the growth and widening of the concept of culture to map the practices, ideas, knowledges and styles of Western non-elites, c] the realization in a world of fear and foreboding that we did not know ourselves and that we could be as strange, deviant, eccentric, simple or primitive as so-called primitve cultures. and d] the growing sense that a welfare state or social administration had to know more about its citizens' lives if it was to meet their needs.

Origins of Mass Observation, 1937-50s

The Archive results from the work of the social research organisation, Mass Observation. This organisation was founded in 1937 by three young men, who aimed to create an 'anthropology of ourselves'. They recruited a team of observers and a panel of volunteer writers to study the everyday lives of ordinary people in Britain. This original work continued until the early 1950s. Find out more about the original Mass Observation project.

The Archive at the University of Sussex, 1970

In 1970, the Archive came to the University of Sussex and was opened up as a public resource for historical research. The Archive holds all the material generated by Mass Observation between 1937 and 1949, with a few later additions from the 1950s and 1960s.

The Mass Observation Project

The original Mass Observation idea of a national panel was revived from the Archive in 1981. Through the press, televison and radio, new volunteer writers or 'Mass Observation correspondents' were recruited from all over Britain.

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