Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat: Visiting Scholar, July 2012

Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat
Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat

Kelly Hannah-Moffat is Professor of Sociology and Chair of Sociology at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Professor Hannah-Moffat currently conducts research across four broad areas:

  1.  Institutional Risk Practices and Diversions- focusing on specialised courts (domestic violence, Aboriginal, youth and drug courts)  and exmaining how legal practices such as bail, sentencing, and case processing have collectively changed as a consequence of the hybrid approaches used in various specialized courts. This area of research seeks to clarify how issues of procedural fairness are managed in court settings where conventional legal and therapeutic roles have been altered.This research will move beyond a specific analysis of therapeutic jurisprudence to study the range of perspectives informing the development and operation of specialized courts. The research will also focus on how risk is differently interpreted and managed in these courts to understand the range as well as gendered and racialized aspects of legal knowledges.
  2. Parole- researach examining conditional release decision-making as it relates to the determination of ‘risk’ and the manageability of that risk in the community upon reintegration. Of particular interest are the relationships between gender, diversity, social disadvantage, mental health and parole decisions. This project also traces the history of conditional release in Canada and internationally.
  3.  Risk Practices and Actuarial Governance-  connected to her work on gender and punishment, this research examines how theoretical insights on actuarial governance operate in applied penal settings, how risk is gendered, and how the application of risk has differential effects on various penal populations. This conceptual project is concerned with how penal governance has changed in particular with the increased use of risk-based technologies of governing, and of self-governing technologies such empowerment that seeks to govern-at-a-distance.Of interest are how particular transformations in risk-based government combine with other established and emergent penal strategies (i.e. punitive incapacitative, rehabilitation and restorative justice) and how these new technologies impact social policy and create new patterns of penal governance. Particular attention is given to the inequalities that are obscured and perpetuated by these statistical practices, the limits of using or adopting gender neutral actuarial risk assessment tools for use with women and ethno-culturally diverse populations, and the gaps between correctional research initiatives, policy and institutional practices.
  4. Gender and Punishment- tracing the historical antecedents of the current women-centred model of penal governance employed in Canadian federal women’s prisons. Theoretically, it shows how various forms of power (pastoral, disciplinary, sovereign, actuarial, and neo-liberal) operate together at various historical moments.

Professor Professor Kelly Hannah-Moffat is an International Visiting Scholar in Criminology at Monash University in August 2012.

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