Reference : Prison Governors as Policy Makers, Phronetic Practices as Enacted Knowledge
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : Criminology
Law, criminology & political science : Political science, public administration & international relations
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Sociology & social sciences
Prison Governors as Policy Makers, Phronetic Practices as Enacted Knowledge
Dubois, Christophe mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences sociales > Socio. proc. de gouv. et de digi. des orga. et des marchés >]
Howard Journal of Crime and Justice
Wiley Online Library
Interpreting Penal Policymaking
[en] prison governors – policy ; organisations – enactment ; knowledge – phronesis
[en] In the last 15 years, Belgian prisons have been characterised by an increase of managerial and legal regulations. Building on an empirical account of prison governors’ work practices and bureaucratic working context, this article shows how the rise of policy inscriptions paradoxically leads to a sharper need of prison governors for practical knowledge. Drawing on four years of qualitative research with 40 Belgian prison governors, the article illustrates how they define ‘ethical dilemmas’ – that is, uncertain and ambiguous events – and reach a particular decision. Two analytical concepts are used in that respect. First, the concept of ‘phronetic practices’ (Nonaka and Takeuchi 2011) relates to the practical knowledge used to make decisions in uncertain and ambiguous situations. Second, the concept of ‘enacted knowledge’ (Freeman and Sturdy 2015) enlightens how such decisions contribute to shaping prison policy, organisations, and administration. In that perspective, this article proposes to recognise the ethics of prison governors conceived as policy makers.
Researchers ; Professionals

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