Layla Skinns is a Reader in Criminology in the Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield, having formerly worked and studied at the Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge and the Institute for Criminal Policy Research, King's College London. She has a longstanding interest in police and policing, in particular in how policing agents use their authority. A key focus of her research has been on police detention in England and Wales, but also in other parts of the anglophone world. In this setting, she is interested in police powers and their relationship with the law, police cultures and police discretion, and furthermore, how they impact on equality and state-citizen relations. She is also interested in how the public - particularly detainees - perceive the police, which links her research to discussions about police legitimacy and 'good' policing.
Skinns provides a critical, thoughtful and thought provoking thematic analysis of how police power is exercised in the police station. The original comparative analysis, expertly synthesised, starkly juxtaposes the experience in each jurisdiction but essentially enables a richly nuanced understanding of the impact of neoliberalism and police culture. Indispensable for policing scholars. Dr Vicky Conway, School of Law & Government, Dublin City University This excellent book is distinguished by its combination of empirical depth, comparative breadth and theoretical ambition. Layla Skinns confirms her reputation as the pre-eminent international researcher on highly significant political tensions between police powers and citizens' rights in police detention. Professor David Dixon, School of Law, University of New South Wales Layla Skinns' wonderful book, based on detailed fieldwork, observations and interviews, is an important, sensitive and powerful analysis of patterns of detention in Australia, the US, Ireland and England. I found it rewarding, subtle and grounded in comparative analysis and socio-legal reasoning. Peter K. Manning, Elmer V.H. and Eileen M Brooks Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice, Northeastern University.