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The coproduction work of healthcare professionals in police custody: destabilising the care-custody paradox

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gethin Rees



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Forensic medicine has traditionally been understood as constituting a tension between medical and legal roles: a care-custody paradox. Rather than reinforcing this paradox, however, in this paper I will draw upon a study of Healthcare Professionals working within police custody suites in England in order to show the ways that they coproduce [Jasanoff, S., 2004. States of knowledge: the co-production of science and social order. London: Routledge] their work with the aim of simultaneously meeting the requirements of both their police (for instance PACE codes) and healthcare (for instance the Nursing and Midwifery Code of Practice) responsibilities. Focusing on acts of ‘mundane care’ [Brownlie, J. and Spandler, H., 2018. Materialities of mundane care and the art of holding one’s own. Sociology of health and illness, 40 (2), 256–269], the typification of detainees and the use of detention cells as risk management tools, I will show that rather than undergoing an existential crisis, Healthcare Professionals mobilise coproduced practices in order to perform their work successfully, thereby further enabling police and detention officers to achieve their custody objectives.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rees G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Policing and Society

Year: 2023

Volume: 33

Issue: 1

Pages: 51-63

Print publication date: 01/01/2023

Online publication date: 28/03/2022

Acceptance date: 14/03/2022

Date deposited: 29/03/2022

ISSN (print): 1043-9463

ISSN (electronic): 1477-2728

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/10439463.2022.2055020

ePrints DOI: 0


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Funder referenceFunder name
205561/Z/16/ZWellcome Trust