Show me the prison! the development of prison tourism in the UK

Alana Barton, Alyson Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper presents an analysis of the historical development and interpretation of prison tourism in the UK Britain and the influence of this on current representations of prison museums via prison museum websites. While there has been significant examination of various prison museums overseas there has been comparatively little published on these institutions in the UK Britain. In response to contending pressures, prison museums have endeavoured to present a balanced and objective depiction of past prison systems whilst their promotional websites, which serve to draw in customers, frequently rely on ‘popular’ depictions. These representations raise important questions as prisons cannot be seen as neutral or apolitical, neither those in the early 21st century nor those of the past. Despite these pressures, prison museums have great potential to increase public understanding of the prison; this paper promotes a more ethical, multi-perspective and politically diverse interpretation within prison museums.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-258
Number of pages22
JournalCrime, Media, Culture
Issue number3
Early online date23 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015


  • Prison
  • heritage
  • media
  • representations
  • tourism


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