Harm and Society
In 2003, the Crime and Society Foundation was established as an independent project within the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies. We are taking forward the project in two ways by developing our interests in harmful behaviours beyond those generally defined as crime and, by integrating our work more closely with the other work of the Centre. To reflect this change, the Foundation was relaunched as the Harm and Society project.
The aim of Harm and Society is to stimulate debate about the limitations of criminal justice and promote alternative perspectives on social harm, crime and social policy. It seeks to change the terms of the debate by working with others to catalyse a fundamental shift in social and criminal justice policy.
Harm and Society has three objectives:
- To stimulate an informed debate about the range of social harms and the limitations of criminal justice approaches in relation to them.
- To develop and enhance an understanding of the social, economic and political foundations of a society in which social harm is less prevalent.
- To promote a solid and reliable evidence base around our first two objectives.
By publishing and disseminating critical analysis, we aim to act as a bridge between the academic, practitioner and public policy worlds, stimulating and invigorating public debates and providing a space for thinking critically about crime, social harm and criminal justice.
Our vision and Harm and Society
The vision of the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies is of a society in which everyone benefits from justice, safety, economic and social security. The Harm and Society project raises questions about the adequacy of criminal justice and the concept of crime as useful tools in reaching that vision.
Our work is premised upon the view that it is only by understanding harm, 'crime' and criminal justice in the context of our political, economic and social worlds that we can begin to think seriously about justice, safety and economic and social security. Whilst this is an ambitious and long term goal, Harm and Society seeks to engage thinkers, academics, practitioners and policy makers in creative thinking - whilst keeping our feet firmly on the ground through a solid evidence base and informed policy development.
You can download a leaflet detailing the work of Harm and Society here (Adobe PDF, 54KB).
Publications and activities
- Criminal Obsessions: Why harm matters more than crime - 2nd edition, October 2008 by Danny Dorling, Dave Gordon, Paddy Hillyard, Christina Pantazis, Simon Pemberton and Steve Tombs.
- Critical thinking about the uses of research, March 2008 by Professor Tim Hope and Professor Reece Walters.
- Social justice and criminal justice, November 2007 edited by Rebecca Roberts and Will McMahon.
- Farepak victims speak out, November 2007 by Dr Basia Spalek and Sam King of the University of Birmingham.
- Knowledgeable consumers. Corporate fraud and its devastating impacts, August 2007 by Dr Basia Spalek of the University of Birmingham.
- Law abiding majority? The everyday crimes of the middle classes, June 2007 by Professor Susanne Karstedt and Dr Stephen Farrall.
- Welfare and punishment. The relationship between welfare spending and imprisonment, November 2006 by Professor David Downes (LSE) and Dr Kirstine Hansen (Institute of Education).
- Does criminal justice work? The 'Right for the wrong reasons debate', October 2006 edited by Richard Garside and Will McMahon.
- Criminal obsessions. Why harm matters more than crime, October 2005 by Paddy Hillyard, Christina Pantazis, Steve Tombs, Dave Gordon and Danny Dorling.
Click here for the 2nd edition published in October 2008.
- Punishment before justice? Understanding penalty notices for disorder, March 2005 by Rebecca Roberts and Richard Garside.
- Crime, persistent offenders and the justice gap, October 2004 by Richard Garside.
A selection of articles and speeches written by those working on the Harm and Society project can also be viewed on the articles page.
To find out more
For information about the work of Harm and Society, contact Will McMahon ( ) or Rebecca Roberts ( ).