Left realists place a big emphasis on creating practical policies to help reduce crime and its impact on individuals and communities. They focus on the organisation of society and especially the inequality, disadvantage and poverty that results from this and which creates the enviroment in which crime might be the norm.
Deal with the deeper structural causes of crime
- The main cause of crime is the deeply unequel nature of capitalist society and its inequalities in income, wealth and oportnity which have undermined social cohesion and produced a culture of envy, frustration and hostility. Lea and young argue that crime can only be reduced or elliminated by improving peoples opportunities to acheive a decent standrd of living and this can only be done by reducting income and wealth inequalities by creating decent jobs for all and by improving houseing and the enviroment of the inner cities and council estates.
- Left realists argue that politicians need to adress the economic and social conditions, poverty, unemployment, poor housing, poor education, low pay and racial discrimination that bring about the risk conditions for crime, particulraly among the young and ethnic minority groups. Left realists argue that urban crime is a rational responce to a lack of legitimate opportunities ansd the powerlessness that deprived groups feel in terms of improving their situation. They argue that economic and social reform programes need to be administered by goverments if crime is to be seriously reduced in inner city areas on or sink council estates.
Deal with the deeper structural causes of crime 2
These policies have included.
- Educationl programmes- aimed at improving educational success in inner city comprehensives and reducing both exclusion and the number of 16 year olds leaving schools with no qualifications
- Minimum pay legislation- to ensure that people are paid a fair wage so that they aren't tempted to become wellfair dependent
- Economic investment- in poorer urban communities is required in order to create jobs.
Generally they argue that there needs to be a more co-ordinated attempt to improve peoples economic and social oportunities. If people truely feel that the U.K is meritocratic they may be less likely to experience relative deprivation and powerlessness, and therefore the humiliation of poverty and resulting resentment that fuels crime.
- These idea's have been criticised as being soft on crime and criminals because they imply that crime is the fault of society rather than a choice of individuals
- Left realists fail to explain why the magority of those living in poverty don't commit crime
- Right realists- ague they make excuses for criminals and that tighter controls more effective socialisation of children and more severe punishments are the main means by which society should reduce crime.
Lea and Young argue that crime can only be reduced with the assistance of local communities but the military style policing of inner city communities prticularaly black communities has alienated local populations. I.e stop and search stats in urban areas suggest that police forces use racial profiling in their attempt to identify criminality and this has led to accusations of institutional racism. They argue that police need to regain the confidence of local communities so that people feel comfortable providing them with information about crime.
- restorative justice involves encouraging offenders to take responsibility for their actions and is supported by left realists. Offenders are expected to repay their debt to society by apolagising to the victim for what they have done and giving something back to the community.
- Sherman and strang- studied the use of restoratvie justice across the U.K and found that the general public had misconceptions about restorative justice and they saw it as weak and favouring the offender, however in contrast their reaserch discovered that victims of crime generally favoured it because it reduced their fear of crime and anger towards the offender.
Re intergrative shaming.
- Braithwaight- reintergrative shaming is whee the labelin of the act as deviant rather than the person who carried it out. This avoids the negative labelling of the offender as evil whilst making them aware of the negative impact of their actions on others and encourages the offender to be sorry and ashamed for their actions. The remorce shown by the offender makes it easier for society and the victim to distinguish the offender from the actual offence and to forgive and re admit the wrongdoer back into mainsteam society. He argues that re offending and crime rates tend to be lower in societies where re intergrative rather than disintergrative shaming is the main way of dealing with offenders.
Restorative justice 2
Restorative justice attempts to put right the wrong or harm that has been done, it highlights the important role fo the vitim and the trauma they have experienced and attempts to ensure that the offender feels some remorce and responsibility for this.
Evidence suggests that the general public associate restorative justice with rehabilitation and reform which are seen as favouring the criminal.