On Saturday 10 November 2018, the School of Law at the University of Reading hosted a public research event in the historic Grade 1 Listed building of Minster of St. Mary-the-Virgin, located in Reading city centre. It formed part of the ESRC’s (Economic and Social Research Council) Festival of Social Science, a week-long national programme of events designed to celebrate the social sciences and bring them to a wider public audience.
The programme for the event is available here.
Our event turned Reading Minister into an interactive exhibition space filled with studies on crime and criminal justice carried out by University of Reading researchers at the School of Law, plus a range of other partners and associated researchers. Through the use of mini-lectures and visual data – including photography, artifacts, and videos – the event challenged visitors to think about the history and impact of incarceration, criminalisation, and our societal appetite to punish offenders. It asked questions such as: Can the use of criminal punishments prevent unwanted deaths? How has punishment changed over the years? What does history tell us about what and who should be criminalised? Should the death penalty be reintroduced? How do prisons differ across the world?
Hundreds of members of the local community came by during the day to listen, view, and browse the projects on display, and to talk to the researchers involved in the projects.
Tweets about the event can be found at #limitsofcommunity.