Abolitionism is not only a strategy or a set of demands, aimed at the reduction (or suppression) of custody, it is also a perspective, a philosophy, an approach which challenges conventional definitions of crime. This book examines the origin, philosophy and achievements of abolitionism and reviews the literature on penal abolitionism from the 1960s to the 1980s. By collecting and discussing the key abolitionist arguments, the author critically analyzes the views expressed by its leading proponents; Nils Christie, Louk Hulsman, Thomas Mathiesen and Herman Bianchi, examining in particular how their views took shape, their philosophical foundations, and the social and political context of abolitionist ideas and perspectives. Policies, such as the virtual abolition of custody for young offenders in Italy, are presented and the area of informal justice is also addressed, with an overview of mediation and compensation practices, and an assessment of the degree of their effectiveness and desirability. Through assessment of these achievements and experiments of specific abolitionist ideas, the author attempts to identify the legacy of abolitionism from a European perspective, while bringing into focus more recent contributions concerning the study of terrorism and war.
Young Criminal Lives is the first cradle-to-grave study of the experiences of some of the thousands of delinquent, difficult and destitute children passing through the early English juvenile reformatory system. The book breaks new ground in crime research, speaking to pressing present-day concerns around child poverty and youth justice, and resonating with a powerful public fascination for family history. Using innovative digital methods to unlock the Victorian life course, the authors have reconstructed the lives, families and neighbourhoods of 500 children living within, or at the margins of, the early English juvenile reformatory system. Four hundred of them were sent to reformatory and industrial schools in the north west of England from courts around the UK over a fifty-year period from the 1860s onwards. Young Criminal Lives is based on one of the most comprehensive sets of official and personal data ever assembled for a historical study of this kind. For the first time, these children can be followed on their journey in and out of reform and then though their adulthood and old age. The book centres on institutions celebrated in this period for their pioneering new approaches to child welfare and others that were investigated for cruelty and scandal. Both were typical of the new kind of state-certified provision offered, from the 1850s on, to children who had committed criminal acts, or who were considered 'vulnerable' to predation, poverty and the 'inheritance' of criminal dispositions. The notion that interventions can and must be evaluated in order to determine 'what works' now dominates public policy. But how did Victorian and Edwardian policy-makers and practitioners deal with this question? By what criteria, and on the basis of what kinds of evidence, did they judge their own successes and failures? Young Criminal Lives ends with a critical review of the historical rise of evidence-based policy-making within criminal justice. It will appeal to scholars and students of crime and penal policy, criminologists, sociologists, and social policy researchers and practitioners in youth justice and child protection.
A PDF version of this book is available for free in open access via www.oup.com/uk as well as the OAPEN Library platform, www.oapen.org. It has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license and is part of the OAPEN-UK research project. Explaining Criminal Careers presents a simple but influential theory of crime, conviction and reconviction. The assumptions of the theory are derived directly from a detailed analysis of cohort samples extracted from the Home Office Offenders Index - a unique database which contains records of all criminal (standard list) convictions in England and Wales since 1963. In particular, the theory explains the well-known Age/Crime curve. Based on the idea that there are only three types of offenders, who commit crimes at either high or low (constant) rates and have either a high or low (constant) risk of reoffending, this simple theory makes exact quantitative predictions about criminal careers and age-crime curves. Purely from the birth-rate over the second part of the 20th century, the theory accurately predicts (to within 2%) the prison population contingent on a given sentencing policy. The theory also suggests that increasing the probability of conviction after each offence is the most effective way of reducing crime, although there is a role for treatment programmes for some offenders. The authors indicate that crime is influenced by the operation of the Criminal Justice System and that offenders do not 'grow out' of crime as commonly supposed; they are persuaded to stop or decide to stop after (repeated) convictions, with a certain fraction of offenders desisting after each conviction. Simply imprisoning offenders will not reduce crime either by individual deterrence or by incapacitation. With comprehensive explanations of the formulae used and complete mathematical appendices allowing for individual interpretations and further development of the theory, Explaining Criminal Careers represents an innovative and meticulous investigation into criminal activity and the influences behind it. With clear policy implications and a wealth of original and significant discussions, this book marks a ground-breaking chapter in the criminological debate surrounding criminal careers.
Why do certain people commit acts of crime? Why does crime happen in certain places? Presenting an ambitious new study designed to test a pioneering new theory of the causes of crime, Breaking Rules: The Social and Situational Dynamics of Young People's Urban Crime demonstrates that these questions can only go so far in explaining why crime happens - and, therefore, in preventing it. Based on the work of the Peterborough Adolescent and Young Adult Development Study (PADS+), Breaking Rules presents an analysis of the urban structure of Peterborough and its relation to young people's social life. Contemporary sciences state that behaviour is the outcome of an interaction between people and the environments to which they are exposed, and it is precisely that interaction and its relation to young people's crime involvement that PADS+ explores. Driven by a ground-breaking theory of crime, Situational Action Theory, which aims to explain why people break rules, it implements innovative methods of measuring social environments and people's exposure to them, involving a cohort of 700 young people growing up in the UK city of Peterborough. It focuses on the important adolescent time window, ages 12 to 17, during which young people's crime involvement is at its peak, using unique space-time budget data to explore young people's time use, movement patterns, and the spatio-temporal characteristics of their crime involvement. Presenting the first study of this kind, both in breadth and detail, with significant implications for policy and prevention, Breaking Rules should not only be of great interest to academic readers, but also to policy-makers and practitioners, interested in issues of urban environments, crime within urban environments, and the role of social environments in crime causation.
Justice, Mercy, and Caprice is a work of criminal justice history that speaks to the gradual emergence of a more humane Irish state. It is a close examination of the decision to grant clemency to men and women sentenced to death between the end of the civil war in 1923 and the abolition ofcapital punishment in 1990.Frequently, the decision to deflect the law from its course was an attempt to introduce a measure of justice to a system where the mandatory death sentence for murder caused predictable unfairness and undue harshness. In some instances the decision to spare a life sprang from merciful motivations.In others it was capricious, depending on factors that should have had no place in the government's decision-making calculus. The custodial careers of those whose lives were spared repay scrutiny. Women tended to serve relatively short periods in prison but were often transferred to a religiousinstitution where their confinement continued, occasionally for life. Men, by contrast, served longer in prison but were discharged directly to the community. Political offenders were either executed hastily or, when the threat of capital punishment had passed, incarcerated for extravagant periods. This book addresses issues that are of continuing relevance for countries that employ capital punishment. It will appeal to scholars with an interest in criminal justice history, executive discretion, and death penalty studies, as well as being a useful resource for students of penology.
'Lea has produced a serious and scholarly contribution of great interest to criminologists (whether "critical "or not), to post graduates, as well as the more advanced undergraduate. This is a book that is well written, absorbing, thoughtful and thought provoking' - The British Journal of Criminology Crime control is in crisis. Not only have levels of crime risen but, more important, crime is increasingly regarded as a normal aspect of the social and economic system rather than disruption or deviance. The blurring boundaries between the criminal and the normal are evident in a number of areas from the activities of multinational corporations to the life of the inner city. In this book, John Lea develops a broad historical and sociological overview relating the rise and fall of effective crime control to different types of social structures. It traces the process of modernisation and industrialisation from the eighteenth to the mid twentieth centuries which established the social preconditions for effective control and management of criminality. In the early years of the present century it is clear that these preconditions are now being progressively undermined as industrial society undergoes profound changes in its direction of development. The result is traced through a variety of types of criminality and the progressive debilitation of existing institutions and processes of crime control. A major feature of this book is its wide scope and imaginative application of historical and theoretical perspectives on modernisation and capitalist social development to the contemporary problems of controlling a wide variety of crime. It represents a significant contribution to the ability of criminology and the sociology of crime to confront the dilemmas and controversies of the twenty first century.
The Politics of Race and Class in Neoliberalizing Regimes
Author: Dr Gail Super
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
This book deals with the historic transition to democracy in South Africa and its impact upon crime and punishment. It examines how the problem of crime has emerged as a major issue to be governed in post-apartheid South Africa. Having undergone a dramatic transition from authoritarianism to democracy, from a white minority to black majority government, South Africa provides rich material on the role that political authority, and challenges to it, play in the construction of crime and criminality. As such, the study is about the socio-cultural and political significance of crime and punishment in the context of a change of regime. The work uses the South African case study to examine a question of wider interest, namely the politics of punishment and race in neoliberalizing regimes. It provides interesting and illuminating empirical material to the broader debate on crime control in post-welfare/neoliberalizing/post transition polities.
The 4th edition edition of this classic study has been thoroughly revised to provide up-to-date information on the scope and practice of capital punishment and the movement, backed by international organizations and human rights treaties, to abolish the death penalty worldwide. As in previouseditions, it draws on Roger Hood's experience as consultant to the United Nations for the Secretary General's five-yearly surveys of capital punishment as well as the latest information from non-governmental organizations and the academic literature.Not only have more countries - such as the Phillipines - abolished capital punishment, but amongst those that retain the death penalty, fewer have been carrying out executions. Legal challenges to the mandatory imposition of capital punishment have been successful, as has the movement to abolish thedeath penalty for those who commit a capital crime when under the age of 18. Of particular interest is the situation in China, where all death sentences are to be reviewed by the People's Supreme Court. Support for capital punishment is waning in the USA, where concern is mounting as evidence ofconviction of the innocent grows, and where there have been renewed challenges to the constitutionality of the death penalty.Despite the many advances towards world-wide abolition, this book reveals many human rights abuses where the death penalty still exists. These include the wide range of crimes still subject to capital punishment in some countries, the lack of protection from police abuse, unfair trials, lack ofaccess to qualified defence counsel, terrible conditions and excessive periods of time spent on 'death row', and public and painful forms of execution. Roger Hood and Carolyn Hoyle engage with the latest debates on the realities of capital punishment, especially the claim that the death penalty is a uniquely effective deterrent to murder and other serious crimes. This edition brings up-to-date the discussion of whether capital punishment can everbe administered equitably, without discrimination or error, and, for the first time, considers the alternatives to capital punishment, especially the problems associated with a mandatory sentence to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. This edition also considers the role andinfluence of victims' families and victim interest movements.