Home | Types of Inequality | Place and Punishment In Scotland Stability and Change In The Relationship

Place and punishment in Scotland: stability and change in the relationship between deprivation and imprisonment

Recent scholarship in the USA (Simes 2017) has identified the spatial context of imprisonment as an important issue.  Whilst criminologists have typically seen imprisonment as a response to urban inequality or urban social control, Simes has shown that imprisonment rates can also be high away from urban centres in smaller 'satellite' cities.
Using 2003 data for Scotland, Houchin (2005) identified Glasgow as an important site of both high deprivation and imprisonment, but since the early 2000s cities such as Glasgow have seen a 'sub-urbanization' of poverty (Minton and Bailey 2018), with increasing levels of deprivation away from city centres and towards the suburbs. This raises the question of whether the spatial relationship between imprisonment and deprivation in Scotland has also changed over this period. We aim to revisit and extend Houchin's analysis to explore change in the spatial context of imprisonment in Scotland. 

We will analyse the relationship between deprivation (as measured by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation) and imprisonment across Scottish neighbourhoods, and explore how this has changed from the mid-2000s to the mid-2010s. We will examine both the strength of this relationship and its spatial distribution.

A short paper on this research 'Is the relationship between imprisonment and deprivation in Scotland at its most pronounced in Glasgow?' was published in the Howard League Early Career Academics Network Bulletin April 2019 – Issue 41, page 51-58:

ECAN Bulletin April 2019 - Issue 41 | Howard League for Penal Reform

 If you have any questions about this work, please contact Dr Ben Matthews

Research Team

Dr Ben Matthews
Research Fellow