Brangan L (2019) Civilizing Imprisonment: The Limits of Scottish Penal Exceptionalism. British Journal of Criminology, 59 (4), pp. 780-799. https://doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azy057
Focusing on imprisonment in Scotland during the 1980s–1990s, and drawing on extensive archival research, documentary analysis and interviews with seven retired civil servants and prison governors, this article is the first to provide an historical and analytical account of Scottish penal exceptionalism. It is argued that although not being punitive in its penal transformation, Scotland cannot rightly be defined as a historically moderate and humane exception when it comes to its prison system. Instead it is shown how the Scottish power to imprison was modernized and made more civilized, allowing prison's inevitable pains to be denied and submerged.
British penal history; Scotland; prison policy; penal transformation
British Journal of Criminology: Volume 59, Issue 4