9. Control, punishment and victims

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  • Control, punishment and victims
    • Crime prevention and crime
      • Situational crime prevention
        • CLARKE
          • Situational crime prevention is a 'pre-emptive approach that relies, not on improving society or its institutions but simply on reducing opportunities for crime'
          • He identifies 3 features of measures aimed at situational crime prevention:
            • They are directed at specific crimes
            • They involve managing or altering the immediate environment of the crime
            • They aim at increasing the effort and risks of committing crime and reducing the rewards
          • Most theories offer no realistic solutions to crime
          • The most obvious solution is to reduce the opportunities to commit crime
        • Underlying situational crime prevention approaches is a rational choice theory of crime which argues that criminals act rationally, weighing up the risks and rewards of criminal acts
        • This rational choice idea contrasts with theories of crime that stress root causes such as socialisation or capitalist exploitation
        • Displacement
          • Situational crime prevention only displaces crime
          • Displacement can take several forms:
            • Spatial: moving elsewhere to commit crime
            • Temporal: committing it at a different time
            • Target: choosing a different victim
            • Tactical: using a different method
            • Functional: committing a different type of crime
        • EVAL
          • Situatiional crime prevention works to some extent in reducing certain kinds of crime. However, with most measures there is likely to be some displacement
          • It tends to focus on opportunistic petty street crime. It ignores white collar, corporate and state crime which are more costly and hamrful
          • It assumes criminals make rational calculations
          • It ignores the root causes of crime such as poverty or poor socialisation
      • Environmental crime prevention
        • WILSON & KELLING
        • They use the phrase 'broken windows' to stand for all the various signs of disorder and lack of concern for others
        • They argue that leaving broken windows, tolerating aggressive begging etc. sends out a signal that no one cares
        • In such neighbourhoods there is an absence of social control from the police and informal control from the community
        • As the police focus on more serious crimes and ignore petty nuisance behaviour, respectable people begin to move out of the area and it becomes a magnet for more deviants
        • Their solution is to crack down on any disorder using an environmental improvement strategy and zero tolerance policing
        • Great sccesses have been claimed for zero tolerance policing
        • However in the example of zero tolerance policing in New York it is unclear how far the strategy was the cause of the improvements
      • Social and community crime prevention
        • These policies place the emphasis on the potential offender and their social context
        • The aim of these strategies is to remove the conditions that predispose individuals to crime in the first place
        • The Perry pre-school project
          • Aimed at reducing criminality amongst disadvantaged black children in Michigan
          • The children who received a 2-year intellectual enrichment programme had significantly fewer arrests by the age of 40
          • More had also graduated from high school and were employed than those who did not receive the help
      • These approaches about crime prevention take for granted the nature and definition of crime
    • Punishment
      • 2 main justifications have been offered since punishment involves a process of deliberately inflicting harm:
        • 1. Reduction (it prevent future crime) by acting as a deterrence, rehabilitating criminals and incapacitates offender's
        • 2. Retribution (an expressive rather than instrumental view of punishment- it expresses society's outrage)
      • Sociologists are interested in the relationship between punishment and society
      • DURKHEIM: a functionalist perspective
        • Punishment functions to uphold social solidarity
        • He identifies 2 types of justice corresponding to 2 types of society:
          • Retributive justice: in traditional society  solidarity is mechanical (similarity). This produces a strong collective conscience. Punishment is severe and cruel and its motivation is purely expressive
          • Restitutive justice: In modern society society is organic (difference). Punishment aims to make reinstitution- to restore thing to how they were before the offence. Its motivation is instrumental, to restore society's equilibrium
          • However in reality, traditional societies often had restitutive justice rather than retributive justice as DURKEIM thought
      • MARXISM: capitalism and punishment
        • The function of punishment is to maintain the existing social order
        • Punishment is part of the repressive state apparatus, which means it defends r/c property against the lower classes
        • The form of punishment reflects the economic base of society
        • RUSCHE & KIRCHHEIMER
          • Under capitalism, imprisonment becomes the dominant form of punishment because the capitalist economy is based on the exploitation of wage labour
        • MELOSSI & PAVARINI
          • Imprisonment is a reflection of capitalist relations to production. For example,
            • Capitalism puts a price on the worker's time; so too prisoners 'do time' to 'pay' for their crimes
            • The prison and capitalist factory both have a similar strict disciplinary style, involving subordination and loss of liberty
      • Foucault: birth of the prison
        • Differentiates between 2 types of punishment which he sees as examples of sovereign power and disciplinary power
        • Sovereign power= typical before the 19thC when the monarch had power over people and their bodies. Inflicting punishment on the body was the means of asserting control. Punishment was a spectacle
        • Disciplinary power= in this form of control, a new system of discipline seeks to govern not just the body but the mind or soul. It does so through surviellance
        • The Panoptican
          • He uses the example of the Panoptican which was a design of a prison where the guards could see all prisoners but prisners could not see the guards
          • Therefore, there was always a chance the prisoners were being watched but they were not sure
          • This surveillance turned into self-surveillance and self-discipline. Control therefore takes place inside the prisoner
        • The change from sovereign to disciplinary power shows how  power operates in society as a whole
        • EVAL
          • The shift from corporal punishment to imprisonment is less clear than Foucault suggests
          • Unlike Durkheim, Foucault neglects the expressive (emotional) aspects of punishment
          • He exaggerates the extent of control. GOFFMAN: inmates are able to resist controls in institutions such as prisons and mental hospitals
      • Until the 18thC, prison was used mainly for holdng offenders prior to their punishment (e.g. flogging)
        • It was only following the Enlightenment that imprisonment began to be seen as a form of punishment in itself, where offenders would be 'reformed'
      • Punishment has not proved to be an effective form of rehabilitation- many see it as an expensive way to make bad people worse
      • Prison population has swollen to record size which has led to overcrowding, even worse sanitation, barely edible food, clothing shortages, lack of educational and work opportunities and inadequate family vistis
      • The prison population is largely male, young and poorly educated
      • Black and ethnic minorities are over-represented in OFs of prison populations
      • GARLAND
        • The UK is moving into an era of mass incarceration
        • The reason for mass incarceration is the growing politicisation of crime control
        • For most of the last C there was a consensus which GARLAND calls 'penal welfarism'- the idea that punishment should reintegrate offenders
        • However, since the 70s there has been a move towards a new consensus based on more punitive and exclusionary, 'tough on crime' policies and this has led to an increase in prison pop.
      • There is also a trend towards transcarceration- the idea that individuals become locked into a cycle of control, shifting between different carceral agencies during their lives
      • In recent years there has been a growth in the range of community-based control, such as curfews, community service orders and electronic tagging, to try and divert young people away from crime
    • The victims of crime
      • CHRISTIE
        • The notion 'victim' is socially constructed
        • The stereotype of the ideal victim favoured by the media, public and CJS is a weak, innocent and blameless individual
      • We can identify 2 broad perspectives of victimology; positivist  and critical victimology
      • Positivist victimology
        • MIERS's 3 features of positivist victimology
          • 1. It aims to identify the factors that produce patterns' in victimisation- especially those that make some individuals or groups more likely to be victims
          • 2. It focuses on interpersonal crimes of violence
          • 3. It aims to identify victims who have contributed to their own victimisation
        • The idea of victim proneness focuses on the social and psychological characteristics of victims that make them different from and more vulnerable than none victims
        • WOLFGANG's study of 588 homicides in Philadelphia
          • 26% involved victim precipitation- the victim triggered the events leading to the homocide
        • EVAL
          • This approach identifies certain patterns of interpersonal victimisation but ignores wider structural factors influencing victimisation
          • It can easily tip over into victim blaming
          • It ignores situations were victims are unaware of their victimisation
      • Critical victimology
        • Based on conflict theories such as Marxism and feminism
        • Focusses on 2 elements:
          • Structural factors such as patraicrhy and ppoverty
          • The state's power to apply or deny the label of 'victim' (the label is a social construct)
        • The failure to label hides the crimes of the powerful and denies the powerless victims any redress
        • In the hierarchy of victimisation the powerless are most likely to be victimised yet least likely to have this acknowledged by the state
        • EVAL
          • Disregards the role victims may play in bringing victimisation on themselves through their own choices
      • Patterns of victimisation
        • Class; the poor are most likely to be victimised
        • Age; younger people are more at risk of victimisation
        • Ethnicity; minority ethnic groups are at greater risk of being victims of crime
        • Gender; males are at greater risk of being victims of violent attacks especially by strangers. However women are more likely to be victims of domestic violence, slaking, harassment...
        • Repeat Victimisation; those who have been victims in the past are more at risk of future victimisation
      • The impact of victimisation
        • Crime may have serious physical and psychological impacts on its victims
        • Crime may also create 'indirect' victims such as witnesses
        • Hate crimes against minorities may create 'waves of harm'
        • Secondary victimisation is the idea that victims may suffer further victimisation at the hands of the CJS
        • Fear of victimisation

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