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Out of the Shadows: Republican Criminology and the Children of Prisoners

Rebecca Wallis is currently in the final stages of her PhD, which examines how women negotiate their motherhood identity in a prison context. She is also admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Queensland and the High Court of Australia.

Susan Dennison is an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Griffith University and currently holds an ARC Future Fellowship.

The Australian criminal justice system pays little attention to the impact of imprisonment on prisoners’ dependent children, even though these children are often very vulnerable. In this article, it is argued that the system can better respond to children of prisoners by adopting Braithwaite and Pettit’s theory of republican criminology as a normative framework. Specifically, the relevance of Braithwaite and Pettit’s argument that the criminal justice system should have the maximisation of personal dominion as its primary goal is explored, in terms of its application to the children of prisoners. By orienting the criminal justice system towards this goal, it is possible for the needs of children to be viewed as an integral part of the business of criminal justice rather than as secondary or adjunct considerations.

(2015) Vol 32 Law in Context p86

   
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