Leicester historians guest edit Centenary journal edition

Leading historians from the University of Leicester have guest edited a special Centenary issue of the prestigious Howard Journal of Crime and Justice.

The peer-reviewed journal is internationally renowned for publishing high quality theory, research and debate on all aspects of the relationship between crime and justice across the globe, and marks the 100th anniversary of its first edition in October 2021 – in the same year the University celebrates its own Centenary.

Clare Anderson, Professor of History; Steven King, Professor of Economic and Social History at Nottingham Trent University and Honorary Professor at the University of Leicester; and Leicester PhD researcher Jess Kebbell have guested edited the special edition, published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Professor Anderson said: “What an honour it was to be invited to co-edit this special issue. The University of Leicester has fantastic connections with The Howard League for Penal Reform, and it has been terrific to work with scholars and practitioners to reflect on change and continuity in the criminal justice system over the past 100 years.

“Just as for our University’s Centenary, it is an opportune moment to reflect not just on the past but on the shared future that we wish to create.”

Leicester researchers from a variety of disciplines have a long-standing relationship with the journal through its first 100 years, with highlights including;

Jess Kebbell is currently undertaking a PhD at Leicester, supported by an ESRC collaborative doctoral partnership award. She said: “The opportunity to guest edit this special centenary edition of the Howard Journal of Crime and Justice arose through my links with the organisation due to my PhD research project. Titled ‘The History of the Howard League for Penal Reform, 1866-1948’, the project looks at the organisation’s membership and the ways in which they campaigned for penal reform. This includes looking at the use of the Journal as a vehicle for change.

“As the oldest charity of its kind in the UK, that is still going over 150 years later after its creation, the importance of the Howard League cannot be overstated. They have been heavily involved in the campaigns to improve labour opportunities within prisons, to provide separate penal institutions for juveniles, and to abolish capital punishment, to name a few. More recently, the charity has run the successful Books For Prisoners campaign.

“To have been asked to contribute to the Howard Journal's centenary celebration is an incredible honour that has provided me with the invaluable opportunity to read, review and comment on articles written by experts in their field, and I look forward to hopefully working with the Journal again in the future."

The special issue will be launched on Thursday 14 October (5.00pm to 6.00pm) with an online event featuring Professor Anderson, Howard Journal of Crime and Justice Editor-in-Chief Professor Ian Loader of the University of Oxford, plus contributors from other institutions including the Prison Reforms Programme of the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative, Prisoners’ Education Trust, and the Universities of Edinburgh, Hawai’i and Hull.

‘Special Issue: Celebrating the Centenary of the Howard League for Penal Reform and the Howard Journal’ is available on the Wiley Online Library.