Custody & Related

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Books & Publicationslet us know if you find broken links, out-of-date or incorrect material on this page…. thanks!

This section includes books and publications related to prison and police detention, general policing, institutional reform, personal accounts etc.

Current Listing:

Book - Black Resistance to British Policing - Racism, Resistance and Social ChangeBlack Resistance to British Policing: Racism, Resistance and Social Change
(Adam Elliott-Cooper)
As police racism unsettles Britain’s tolerant self-image, Black resistance to British policing details the activism that made movements like Black Lives Matter possible. Elliott-Cooper analyses racism beyond prejudice and the interpersonal – arguing that black resistance confronts a global system of racial classification, exploitation and violence.

The Pride of an African Migrant: In Remembrance of Jimmy Mubenga
(Pierced Rock Press)
Where is the human in migration? In an age of immigration as political posturing and propaganda, Massocki Ma Massocki presents a collage of dreams, journeys, tears, wills… even death. It is an intimate retelling of lives and stories that strips migrants of convenient agenda-driven labels, baring them stark to the reader.

Name/TitlePublication Summary
Blue: The LAPD and the Battle to Redeem American PolicingVividly drawn and character-driven, Blue is simultaneously a gripping drama of cops, crime, and politics, and a primer on police policy and reform. Beginning with the 1992 Los Angeles Riots and ending with the tumultuous police controversies swirling around both Ferguson, MO and New York City in 2014.
Brotherhood of CorruptionIn this controversial book, an ex-cop breaks the silence on police abuse, brutality and racial profiling. The former Chicago cop exposes some extreme truths about the abuses of power within the police department in this memoir of violence, drugs, and men with badges.
Chained to the Prison GatesThis report by Laura Topham is a comparative analysis of two modern penal reformers, Pauline Campbell and Violet Van der Elst. Topham uses both primary and secondary research to provide better awareness of two of the most dedicated penal reformers of modern times.
Children Behind BarsEvery day children exiled to prison are exposed to abusive and neglectful treatment, yet their plight is hidden. This passionately argued book presents the shocking truth about the lives and deaths of children in custody.
Eddie’s CountryEddie Murray died in suspicious circumstances in a police cell in Australia’s town of Wee Waa in 1981. He was 21 years old. His parents, Arthur and Leila Murray, embarked on a search for truth and fought for over 20 years to have the death of their son properly investigated.
Enemy CombatantAn ordinary man has endured an extraordinary fate – imprisoned for a crime he didn’t commit and whose precise nature has never been determined. As far as the United States government was concerned, it was enough to label him an ‘enemy combatant.”
Finding FreedomIncarcerated in San Quentin at the age of 19 for armed robbery, Jarvis Masters was accused four years later of participating in a conspiracy that resulted in the death of a prison guard. Masters’ commitment to non-violence leads him more and more into the role of peacemaker as he tries to put compassion into action.
Gladiator GamesOn the eve of his release from Feltham Young Offenders’ Institution in March 2000, Zahid Mubarek, a young British Asian man was attacked by his cellmate. One week later he died from his injuries. Tanika Gupta has dramatised the story of how this nineteen year old man met his death and investigates who was responsible for his being shut up in a cell with a dangerous violent and racist cellmate.
Independent Review of Deaths and Serious Incidents in Police CustodyThe British governments long-awaited report on deaths in police custody was published in October 2017, and it makes for uncomfortable reading. The report notes that every prosecution over a death in custody in the past 15 years has ended in acquittal.
Inquests: a practitioner's guideThis team of experienced inquest and inquiry lawyers have provided a manual which is comprehensive, informative, discursory and eminently readable. Recommend to all who work in coroner law or who have an interest in any aspect of coroner or inquiry work.
The IOPC: Impact Report & Strategic Plan 2018-2022In September 2020 the IOPC released their Impact report and Strategic plan for the period 2018-2022. This is the first Strategic Plan since
the Independent Office for Police
Conduct (IOPC) was launched in
January 2018. The new Board includes a mix of executive and non-executive directors.
LIBERTY Guide to Human Rights'Your Rights' is Liberty’s guide to human rights and civil liberties in the UK. It is designed for people who want to know more about their legal rights and are not sure about where to start.
Lucasville: Untold Story of a Prison UprisingIn telling the story of one of the longest prison uprisings in U.S. history, in which hundreds of inmates seized a major area of an Ohio correctional facility, this chronicle examines the causes of the disturbance, what happened during its 11-day duration.
Policing CitizensThis analysis of policing throughout the modern world demonstrates how many of the contentious issues surrounding the police in recent years - from para-militarism to community policing - have their origins in the fundamentals of the police role.
Police Brutality – An AnthologyA collection of 13 essays from a variety of sources examines one of America’s most serious domestic problems, further investigates its historical and sociological roots, and grapples for solutions.
Race, Mental Health, State ViolenceAt a time when mental health is often decontextualised from the structural violence experienced by the most vulnerable in society, this special issue of Race & Class shows how race, mental health and state violence intersect – in places of detention and incarceration, on the street, in mental health institutions, in counter-extremism policies and in the home.
Rubin Carter: American Justice SystemThis book is the most in-depth examination at the Carter case. Dr. Wice had unprecedented access to original court transcripts and interviewed everyone involved in the courtroom proceedings, including prosecutors, criminal defense attorneys and judges. A case as divisive as this naturally produces two distinct, mutually-exclusive groups.
Solitary: The Inside Story of Supermax IsolationImagine spending nearly twenty-four hours a day alone, confined to an eight-by-ten-foot windowless cell. This is the reality of approximately 100,000 inmates in solitary confinement in the United States today.
Stop and Search : The Anatomy of a Police PowerThis book reviews the key controversies surrounding the police power to stop and search members of the public. It explores the history and development of these powers, assesses their effectiveness in tackling crime and their impact on public trust and confidence.
The Hounding of David OluwaleWhen the body of Nigerian man, David Oluwale, was pulled out of the River Aire near Leeds in May 1969, nobody asked too many questions of his death. A police charge sheet had ‘UK’ scored out, and his nationality replaced with a handwritten ‘WOG’
The Outsider: Autobiography of Keith HellawelKeith Hellawell rose to become Chief Constable of Cleveland, and then West Yorkshire, and later, controversially, New Labour’s much-feted and summarily dismissed “Drugs Czar”. In this autobiography, he writes candidly about four decades of public service.
The Skeptical Juror and The Trial of Byron CaseUsing actual evidence from the trial of Byron Case, the author effectively moves through a very simple but highly logical process of deliberation that members of the jury should have undertaken. Through this, the author shows how doing so would have lead the jury to uncover numerous obvious failures of the prosecution to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The Colour of JusticeThis book is made up from some of the many transcripts that were taken from the Stephen Lawrence enquiry. The editor has picked out a selection of interviews and testimonies that make up this horrifying but riveting read about the senseless murder of the Black British teenager Stephen Lawrence.
Unlocking the TruthHelen Shaw & Deborah Coles of the charity pressure group, INQUEST, describes the experiences of families bereaved by deaths in custody,from the time of death to the conclusion of the investigation and inquest.
United Kingdom Government
on the visit to the UK carried out by the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT) has published the report on its ad hoc visit to the United Kingdom, which took place from 13 to 23 May 2019, together with the response of the United Kingdom authorities.

This targeted follow-up visit to England focussed on the persistently high levels of violence in the local male adult prisons and juvenile detention centres, as well as on broader concerns.
Untouchables – Dirty Cops,
Bent Justice & Racism in Scotland Yard
This is the result of a 5 year investigation into Scotland Yard’s most secretive & powerful unit, an undercover unit, charged with rooting out corrupt & racist cops, that went public in 1998 as ‘the Untouchables.’
Who Killed Jill Dando? (The case of Barry George)The case of the Crown vs. George has been compared to the American case of the People vs. (O.J.) Simpson, the ex-professional football player charged in the murders of his ex-wife her lover. If there are any parallels in the two cases, they certainly end with their verdicts: whereas Simpson was acquitted, George wasn’t.

In the Care of the State
(Dr Barry Goldson & Deborah Coles of pressure group, INQUEST)
Groundbreaking new book on child deaths in penal custody receives critical acclaim and a call for action in parliament.

INQUEST Skills Toolkit
The INQUEST Skills and Support Toolkit is a resource for families and friends dealing with the aftermath of a sudden bereavement. It is funded by the BIG Lottery Fund.

Dying on the Inside
provides a comprehensive examination of INQUEST’s casework on the 115 women’s deaths in prison between 1990 – 2007.

Learning from Death in Custody Inquests: A New Framework for Action and Accountability
This groundbreaking report highlights the serious flaws in the learning process following an inquest into a death in custody or following contact with state agents.

Dying for Justice
The Institute of Race Relations published Dying for Justice in 2015. It gives the background on 509 people from BAME, refugee and migrant communities who have died between 1991-2014 in suspicious circumstances in which the police, prison authorities or immigration detention officers have been implicated.


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