Sensory Criminology

Sensory Criminology is a creative space to explore sensory experience of criminological concerns.

This blog is designed to accompany and extend themes and ideas introduced in our forthcoming edited collection “Sensory penalities: exploring the sensory in spaces of punishment and social control” (Bingley: Emerald). Now available: https://books.emeraldinsight.com/page/detail/Sensory-Penalities/?K=9781839097270 – hardback due for release 8th February 2021.

Revealing Sensory Scars

That cheap, sterile, cold smell – it reminded me so much of being escorted down the corridor often by men twice my size, just a body, chucked in a cell and kept until another place or person knew what to do with you. I suppose that was the message, the ‘we don’t know what to do with you’ smell – you’re an inconvenience to society, it doesn’t know what to do with you so we’ll contain you for a bit in this building, disinfecting human traces.

A proper brew: sensory recollections of my time in prison

The taste of that cheap teabag whisked me back to the cramped ‘staff’ room at the side of the card workshop where I spent much of my days in ‘The Vale’. The tea was made from the cheapest possible tea bag that the Scottish Prison Service could lay their hands on. The taste was more akin to the mud soup you would whip up as a kid than any sort of tea I had tasted before, strangely chemically tasting and earthy all at the same time. However, as is so often the case with food and drink, tea was part of a ritual.


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