City Research Online

Gendering the Carceral Web: Public Sector Reform, Technology and Digital (In)Justice

Birkett, G. ORCID: 0000-0001-9797-2524 (2023). Gendering the Carceral Web: Public Sector Reform, Technology and Digital (In)Justice. Theoretical Criminology: an international journal, doi: 10.1177/13624806231151657/


The UK government’s Transforming our Justice System agenda represents an emerging system of penal governance. Its cumulative impact, manifested through the mainstreaming of virtual hearings, a system of automatic online convictions and the Single Justice Procedure is a story yet to tell, with the potential impact on marginalised women simply a footnote. Such women, well-documented victims of the legal aid cuts as well as the digital divide, must comply with and negotiate the requirements of the carceral web alone. The pursuance of the reforms, representing the next instalment in the neo-liberal justice agenda, exposes another example of life at the penal-welfare nexus. This precarious territory has burgeoned since government-imposed austerity, with implications for self-criminalisation, net-widening and social justice. Reforms couched in the language of ‘efficiency’ and ‘common sense’ are likely to run in direct opposition to what marginalised women might need (or respond well to) and may jeopardise official reductionist strategies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
Publisher Keywords: Court modernisation, digital divide, social justice, women offenders, carceral web
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
K Law > KD England and Wales
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
[thumbnail of 13624806231151657.pdf]
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons: Attribution International Public License 4.0.

Download (585kB) | Preview
[thumbnail of Gendering the Carceral Web TC Accepted (1).pdf] Text - Accepted Version
This document is not freely accessible due to copyright restrictions.


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login