By David Scott
Criminal stories has skilled a interval of significant creativity in recent times, and this assortment attracts jointly a number of the field's most enjoyable and cutting edge modern severe writers with the intention to interact without delay with essentially the most profound questions in penology - why legal? In addressing this question, the authors attach modern penological notion with an enquiry that has bought the eye of a few of the best thinkers on punishment some time past. via serious exploration of the theories, guidelines and practices of imprisonment, the authors examine why criminal persists and why prisoner populations are quickly emerging in lots of nations. jointly, the chapters offer not just a cosmopolitan prognosis and critique of world hyper-incarceration but additionally recommend ideas and techniques which may be followed to appreciably decrease our reliance upon imprisonment.
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Extra info for Why Prison? (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society)
Yet a little knowledge can sometimes be a bad thing, as the penal spectator is not required to give more than a ‘distant look or ﬂeeting glance’ at the tragic quality of penal incarceration – the deliberate inﬂiction of pain and suffering. It is not just the failure to break down emotional distance that is of concern, but also the fact that the penal spectator assumes he/she is now fully informed. Of central importance then are strategies that can ﬁnd ‘a way out’ by publically exposing prisons for what they really are.
The above problems regarding data on ‘Nordic exceptionalism’ are characteristic of general difﬁculties measuring international prisoner rates (Brodeur, 2007; Scott, 2008; Snacken and Dumortier, 2012). Ofﬁcial ‘prisoner rates’ are not standardised tools comparing ‘like with like’. For a start, not all nations deﬁne ‘prison’ and their populations in 8 WHY PRISON? POSING THE QUESTION the same way: some countries include juvenile offenders and/or those in psychiatric ‘care’ in penal custody statistics, whilst others provide data on adult prisoners only.
Keally McBride argues in Chapter 11 that, since the 1970s, the assumption has been that people cannot be changed through imprisonment; therefore they should remain in prison for as long as possible. After exploring the deeply entrenched political desire to incapacitate those who fail to live their lives as ‘economically driven creatures’, she argues that because of the ‘great recession’, crime talk is increasingly becoming about ‘balancing budgets’ and being ‘tough on crime and tough on criminal justice spending’.