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Justice Focus

Justice Focus

By Omar Phoenix Khan
A criminology podcast that focuses on the latest exciting projects happening in criminal justice all over the world. It brings together practitioners, front line staff, NGO workers, academics - basically all those people working passionately and compassionately in criminal justice systems.
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3: Penal Reform International - Global criminal justice responses to COVID19

Justice Focus

25: Prof. Ben Crewe - Understanding Life Imprisonment
Between 2003 and 2016, the average tariff for murder in England & Wales increased by almost 40% to over 20yrs of imprisonment. It's clear that as a society, we have become desensitised to these huge sentences. In this episode, Professor Ben Crewe chats to Omar about his recent book, ‘Life Imprisonment from Young Adulthood’ (coauthored with Dr Susie Hulley, & Dr Serena Wright), which analyses the experiences of prisoners in England & Wales sentenced when relatively young to very long life sentences. Ben also discusses his own professional journey and introduces the new academic journal Incarceration. This is the last episode of the series! Thank you so much to everyone involved and to all those who have listened and shared your feedback! The whole point of the podcast is to help spread the positive impact, so please share this episode (or any of the others) with someone who you think may like it! Ben Crewe is Professor of Penology & Criminal Justice, and Deputy Director of the Prisons Research Centre, at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge. Prof. Ben Crewe | @crewebencrewe | Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
December 09, 2020
24: Khatuna Tsintsadze - The Zahid Mubarek Trust & Race Equality in Prisons
Khatuna Tsintsadze is the Co-director of The Zahid Mubarek Trust (ZMT), an independent national charity founded in 2009 by the family of 19-year-old Zahid Mubarek who was murdered by his racist cellmate on the morning scheduled for his release from Feltham Young Offender Institution, London, UK. Khatuna chats to Omar about Zahid's legacy, her aspirations for the Trust and her personal approach to the heavy topics inherent in human rights work. During the episode, we mention 'A Record of Our Own' campaign, which was launched by the ZMT in June 2020. It aims to understand the impact of Covid-19 on prisoners from Black, Asian and minority ethnic background, including people from Gypsy, Roma and Traveller groups. Khatuna joined the ZMT in 2011 having previously spent over fifteen years working in the non-governmental sector, both nationally and internationally. Prior to that, she held a senior position within a national human rights organisation in Georgia, providing legal aid and advocacy to the victims of human rights abuses and discrimination. In parallel, Khatuna worked as a human rights expert on a number of international projects led by the OSCE/ODIHR, Council of Europe and the European Commission. Khatuna Tsintsadze | @k_tsintsadze | ZMT Website | @ZMTRUST Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
November 25, 2020
23: Prof. Neil Chakraborti - Making Hate Crime Studies Accessible & Impactful
Professor Neil Chakraborti chats to Omar about his career in Criminology and Hate Crime Studies. They discuss recent 'trigger events' that have caused increases in hate crimes and the intersection between academic study and real-world impact: how universities can work more closely with practitioners. Neil's new book, co-authored with Stevie-Jade Hardy Blood, Threats and Fears: The Hidden Worlds of Hate Crime Victims is also discussed as an example of working in an accessible way. Neil Chakraborti is a Professor of Criminology, Head of School and Director of the Centre for Hate Studies at the University of Leicester. He has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications within the field of hate crime and has been commissioned by numerous funding bodies to lead research studies which have shaped hate crime policy and scholarship. He is series editor of Palgrave Hate Studies; Chair of the Research Advisory Group at the Howard League for Penal Reform; and sits on the Advisory Boards of Tell MAMA, the International Network for Hate Studies and the British Society of Criminology Hate Crime Network. Prof. Neil Chakraborti | @NeilChakraborti | University of Leicester | Centre for Hate Studies Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
November 11, 2020
22: Dr David Skarbek - Prison Gangs & 'The Puzzle of Prison Order'
Dr David Skarbek is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Political Theory Project at Brown University. He is the author of The Social Order of the Underworld (Oxford, 2014), which won the APSA's William Riker Award for best book in political economy and the Outstanding Book Award from International Association for the Study of Organized Crime. His new book is called ‘The puzzle of prison order: Why life behind bars varies around the world’. In this episode, David chats to Omar about prison gangs in the USA and his award-winning book, as well as his new book examining prison governance internationally. As well as asking how prisoners govern, discussions also cover transgender prison units, and prisoner of war camps, as well as thoughts on defunding the police. Dr David Skarbek | @DavidSkarbek |   Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
October 28, 2020
21: Prof. Alison Liebling - Appreciative Inquiry and the moral performance of prisons
Alison Liebling is Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Cambridge and Director of the Institute of Criminology’s Prisons Research Centre. Alison has recently been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship to embark on significant further research and took a moment to reflect on her career-to-date with Omar.  Alison's work includes a series of successful books and publications on several topics including suicides and suicide attempts among adult prisoners, public-private sector comparisons, the work and role of prison officers, and the nature and quality of staff-prisoner relationships. As well as reflecting on her inspirations and how she came to 'appreciative inquiry' as a research method, Alison discusses three of her papers, including some past and some present work: Paper 1: Women in our own Right or ‘Honorary Men’? Reflections on a Professional Life in Prisons Research Paper 2: Finding George Eliot In Prison: Reflections On Its Moral Life Paper 3: Moral performance, inhuman and degrading treatment and prison pain Prof. Alison Liebling | @AlisonLiebling | @PrisonsResearch |  Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
October 14, 2020
20: Catherine Heard - Comparative Criminology & the World Prison Research Programme
Catherine Heard is a senior research fellow at ICPR - the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research, based at Birkbeck, University of London. In this episode, she talks with Omar about ICPR’s World Prison Research Programme, which builds on the World Prison Brief, ICPR's online database providing details of the prison systems of over 220 independent countries and dependent territories. Catherine discusses the real-world application of comparative criminology including two notable instances where ICPR data was directly used at the highest level - once where outgoing President Barak Obama referenced ICPR work and also when Catherine had to  fact-check the Brazilian Minister of Justice and Public Security, Sérgio Fernando Moro. Key Publications Discussed:  - Understanding and reducing the use of imprisonment in ten countries - Towards a health-informed approach to penal reform? Evidence from ten countries Catherine Heard | @ICPRtweet | @ICPSLONDON | Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
September 30, 2020
19: Prof. Kerry Carrington - Southern Criminology & Women's Police Stations
Kerry Carrington is a Professor at the School of Justice in the Faculty of Law at Queensland University of Technology, Australia. In this episode, Kerry chats to Omar about the paradigm shift that is ‘Southern Criminology’, which exposes dominant forms of knowledge production as distinctly Northern/Western and challenges their claims of universality. Kerry also discusses her preference for co-authoring, the numerous David & Goliath battles that she has taken on, and her passion for open access – ending with a call to action to aid the democratisation of knowledge. We discuss the recent paper, Carrington, K., Guala, N., Puyol, M. V., & Sozzo, M. (2020), which uses the Southern Criminology paradigm to explore How Women’s Police Stations Empower Women, Widen Access to Justice and Prevent Gender Violence Prof. Kerry Carrington | @CarringtonKL| Preventing Gender Violence | International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy Omar Phoenix Khan | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
September 16, 2020
18: Kanika Samuels-Wortley - Race, Diversion & Police Selection Bias in Canada
Kanika Samuels-Wortley is an Assistant Professor at the Institute of Criminology & Criminal Justice at Carleton University in Canada. Kanika specialises in race and racism, youth delinquency, policing, corrections, and critical race theory. Her current research explores how perceptions and experiences with racial discrimination by law enforcement officials may contribute to victimization and offending among Black and Indigenous youth, thus maintaining their oppression and marginalization in Canadian society. She chats to Omar about her recent paper: Youthful Discretion: Police Selection Bias in Access to Pre-Charge Diversion Programs in Canada. Race and Justice (2019) Kanika Samuels-Wortley: | @KanikaSamuels Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
September 02, 2020
17: Dr Jamie Bennett - Against Prison Management
Dr Jamie Bennett has a huge wealth of experience in senior management positions across a range of specialised prison settings. These include as Governor of high-security prison HMP Long Lartin,  and as Governor of HMP Grendon, the only prison across England and Wales to operate entirely as a series of therapeutic communities, among many others.  Today Jamie is the Deputy Director of the Operational Security Group for Her Majesty’s Prison and Probation Service, AND also a research associate at Oxford University’s Centre for Criminology AND editor of the Prison Service Journal. He has published over 100 articles and in this episode he talks with Omar about his journey through prison management and how he has come to question managerialism in prison. He also talks about prisons in the media, his role in Gold Command response to COVID-19 and getting his hands dirty in search of real-world impact. Extract from paper: Against Prison Management Dr Jamie Bennett: @drjamiebennett | Prison Service Journal Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan @Justice_Focus |
August 19, 2020
16: Dr Martin Glynn - Subverting the Rules of Academia & Talking Truth to History
Dr Martin Glynn is a Critical Race Criminologist at Birmingham City University – but that does not come close to telling the full story. Martin is a writer, a dramatist, a data storyteller, the Writer in Residence at the National Justice Museum, and much more besides. In this episode he speaks to Omar about his alternative outlook to working within Criminal Justice, how he is able to produce so much work – academically and creatively – all without compromising on his goals. He also discusses the 'BME attainment gap' at universities and navigating white space. Dr Martin Glynn: @msoulfires Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan  @Justice_Focus |
August 05, 2020
15: Nina Champion - Systemic racism in policing & valuing lived experience in CJ
Nina Champion is Director of the Criminal Justice Alliance (CJA), a coalition of over 160 member organisations working towards a fairer and more effective criminal justice system. In this episode, Nina talks with Omar about her vision for the CJA and about steps towards reform – especially in the areas of systemic racism in policing and the valuing the contribution of those with lived experience. CJA New report: Twenty one years after Macpherson Report, systemic racism in policing continues Nina Champion: @ninachampioncja | Criminal Justice Alliance @cjalliance | Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
July 22, 2020
14: Dr Hannah Graham - Pracademia, rehabilitation & electronic monitoring
Dr Hannah Graham is a Senior Lecturer in Criminology at the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research, University of Stirling. She talks with Omar about 'pracademia' and being close to both the practitioner and academic worlds.  Hannah talks about her book: ‘Rehabilitation Work: Supporting Desistance and Recovery’, and as an expert in electronic monitoring, she gives her take on the use of technology in reaction to covid about the time she wore a tag herself! Dr Hannah Graham: @DrHannahGraham | University Profile Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
July 08, 2020
13: Dr Andrew M. Jefferson - Prison Reform & Torture Prevention under Compromised Circumstances
Andrew M. Jefferson is a senior researcher at DIGNITY the Danish Institute Against Torture. For the past two decades, he has been studying and writing about prisons and prison reform processes in the global South with a focus on countries undergoing transition. He aims to contribute to social scientific understandings of the conditions under which torture and inhumane treatment thrive with a view in the end to transforming such conditions and making the world a safer place for all. In this episode, he discusses two upcoming papers: 1) Prison Reform and Torture Prevention under Compromised Circumstances. 2) Prison Ethnography in the pursuit of imponderable knowledge Andrew M. Jefferson: @AndyMJefferson |  DIGNITY - Danish Institute Against Torture @DignityDK Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
June 24, 2020
12: Penelope Gibbs - Virtual Hearings, Overuse of Police Custody & Reframing Beliefs
Penelope Gibbs has been director of Transform Justice since its foundation and has previously sat as a magistrate in England and run projects for the Prison Reform Trust. In this episode, she discusses two important Transform Justice reports. The first relates to the effectiveness of Virtual Court Hearings: Defendants on video – conveyor belt justice or a revolution in access? The second & recently released report is about the overuse of Police Custody: 24 hours in police custody — is police detention overused? We also cover how to reframe thinking about criminal justice to avoid triggering beliefs that hold back reform. Penelope Gibbs: @PenelopeGibbs2 | Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
June 10, 2020
11: Dr David Rodríguez Goyes: Southern Green Criminology
Dr David Rodríguez Goyes, a Colombian lawyer by training is a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oslo, where he gained his PhD in Criminology. His main field of research is green criminology, with a focus on bio-piracy. His new book: Southern Green Criminology: A Science to End Ecological Discrimination focuses on the threat the western world poses to the rest of the globe, and how Western-imposed ideas of progress are damaging the planet, especially the southern hemisphere. And on top of that, he also participated in the Colombian peace process. Dr David Rodríguez Goyes: @DavidRGoyes Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
June 03, 2020
10: Dr David Maguire Part 2 - Vulnerable Prisoner Masculinities
This episode explores Dr David Maguire's recent paper: Vulnerable Prisoner Masculinities in an English Prison. Masculinity is not a fixed thing. People can and do express their masculinity in many different ways and adapt their performance according to the environment. Rather than focus on the dominant or stereotypical forms of masculinity, Omar is back talking with Dr David Maguire about how men in vulnerable prisoner units adapt and cope. If you haven't heard it yet, listen to Episode 9, which is Part 1 with David Maguire. If focuses on his personal journey and how an inspirational moment with a committed volunteer sparked a journey in education that would take him from council estate to prison & then to a PhD at Oxford University. Dr David Maguire: @Dee0871 Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan @Justice_Focus |
May 27, 2020
9: Dr David Maguire Part 1 - From Prison to PhD & Navigating Masculinity
Men’s prisons – one of the places most associated with a macho identity. In Part 1 of this 2 Part Episode, Omar is joined by Dr David Maguire, an expert in prisoner masculinities, especially the adaptations of those lower in the prison hierarchy. In this Part 1, we’ll be concentrating on Dave’s personal journey and how an inspirational moment with a committed volunteer sparked a journey in education that would take him from council estate to prison & then to a PhD at Oxford University. The episode also introduces Dr. Dave's recent paper: Vulnerable Prisoner Masculinities in an English Prison Dr David Maguire: @Dee0871  Omar Phoenix Khan: @OmarPKhan  @Justice_Focus |
May 20, 2020
8: Dr. Baz Dreisinger: Incarceration Nations, Education & the Power of Restorative Justice
Omar is joined by Dr. Baz Dreisinger, founder of groundbreaking Prison-to-College Pipeline program at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and author of the critically acclaimed book ‘Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World’. The chat includes discussion of the issues with thinking about rehabilitation and the importance of restorative justice, reversing the school to prison pipeline and how the projects have been impacted by COVID-19, as well as how to balance activist work with academic demands. @bazdreisinger | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus
May 13, 2020
7: Detention Action - The Shocking Truth About Immigration Detention
Omar is joined by Bella Sankey, Director of Justice & Human Rights based NGO Detention Action. They discuss how the UK is a complete outlier for immigration detention, the realities of detention during the pandemic & the long term effects of the demonisation and criminalisation of immigration specific to the UK. @BellaSankey | @DetentionAction | @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus |
May 06, 2020
6: Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative - Indian Prisons & the Pandemic
Omar is joined by Madhurima Dhanuka, Programme Head of the Prison Reforms Programme for the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) to discuss the realities prisons in India and how the criminal justice system is responding to the pressures of the pandemic. @CHRI_INT | @Mdhanuka17 You can find a copy of CHRI guidance doc: COVID - 19 and Prisons in the Commonwealth: Ensuring an effective response here @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus
April 29, 2020
5: Dr Adriana Cruz - Life of a Judge in Quarantine
Omar is joined by Dr Adriana Cruz, a federal judge in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to discuss the realities of working from home as a judge during the COVID-19 quarantine. Dr Adriana also talks about combining her work as a judge with her role as a university lecturer and its benefits for students, as well as her specialism on confronting racism and patriarchy in Brazil's judiciary. @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus
April 22, 2020
4: Fair Trials International - How to have a fair trial during a crisis
Omar is joined by Jago Russell, Chief Executive of Fair Trials International to discuss how to ensure fair trials during the COVID-19 pandemic. See Fair Trial's resources linked to the global crisis: Follow Jago Russell @JagoRussell  | Fair Trials @fairtrials @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus
April 15, 2020
3: Penal Reform International - Global criminal justice responses to COVID19
Omar is joined by Olivia Rope, the Director of Policy and International Advocacy at Penal Reform International to discuss how criminal justice systems across the world have responded to the  COVID-19 pandemic.  See PRI's briefing note on prevention measures in prisons and wider impacts of responses to governments on people in criminal justice systems: Coronavirus: Healthcare and human rights of people in prison. @LiviRope @PenalReformInt @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus
April 07, 2020
2: The Howard League - Prisons and the Pandemic
Omar is joined by Andrew Neilson, the Director of Campaigns at The Howard League for Penal Reform to discuss recommendations for the UK government during the COVID-19 pandemic.  See the Howard League and Prison Reform Trust call for further early release to protect prisoners, staff and wider public from coronavirus @TheHowardLeague | @neilsonandrew @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus
April 07, 2020
1: Dr Roxana Cavalcanti - A Southern Criminology of Violence, Youth and Policing
Omar is joined by critical criminologist Dr Roxana Pessoa Cavalcanti to chat about her new book: A Southern Criminology of Violence, Youth and Policing. The study explores the experiences of communities of people living in Brazil's favelas and aims to add to the understanding of the use of violence and control in urban and postcolonial contexts. @RoxyCavalcanti @OmarPKhan | @Justice_Focus
April 07, 2020
0: Justice Focus - What's this all about?
Omar Phoenix Khan introduces Justice Focus - a criminology podcast. Each week, he will interview an expert guest about an exciting aspect of their work and explore what kinds of real-world impact they hope to achieve.
April 06, 2020