Why Prison? (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society) by David Scott

By David Scott

Legal experiences has skilled a interval of serious creativity lately, and this assortment attracts jointly a few of the field's most enjoyable and leading edge modern serious writers so one can interact at once with some of the most profound questions in penology - why legal? In addressing this question, the authors attach modern penological proposal with an enquiry that has obtained the eye of a few of the best thinkers on punishment long ago. via severe exploration of the theories, rules and practices of imprisonment, the authors examine why criminal persists and why prisoner populations are quickly emerging in lots of nations. jointly, the chapters supply not just a worldly prognosis and critique of worldwide hyper-incarceration but in addition recommend ideas and techniques which may be followed to noticeably lessen our reliance upon imprisonment.

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Extra resources for Why Prison? (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society)

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In Germany and Canada, the prisoner rate showed only evidence of a ‘slow creep’ or remained reasonably stable, whereas numbers actually declined in Finland (Tonry, 2001; LappiSeppala, 2012). In England and Wales, after a number of decades in which ‘official crime rates’ had risen dramatically, ‘crime’ figures stabilised and then began to decline from 1993. Yet, in the twenty-year period since, the prison population has continued to rise without abatement. To dismiss ‘crime’ entirely from the equation would be a mistake, but there are clearly other reasons why prisons persist and continue to expand.

Within three years the prisoner population increased by over 12,000 to leave a rate of 92 prisoners per 100,000 in 1988, yet by 1990 it had fallen back to 81 prisoners per 100,000. 6 In July 2012 the French prisoner ADP reached a record high of 67,373 prisoners – a prisoner rate of 101 per 100,000. Although foreign nationals comprised only 6 per cent of the population, they accounted for 21 per cent of the prison population. The Netherlands, once eulogised as a leading example of penal tolerance, has witnessed one of the most dramatic increases in prisoner rates on the planet.

Black men born in the late 1960s were more likely, by 1999, to 32 PRISONS AND SOCIAL STRUCTURES IN LATE-CAPITALIST SOCIETIES have served time in state or federal prison than to have obtained a four-year degree or served in the military. For non-college black men, a prison record had become twice as common as military service. (Western, 2006: 31) It is also worth remembering here that the prison system represents only one side of the US penal machinery. In fact, outside the walls of the prison, a true and proper ‘nation within the nation’ has formed as a consequence of the vertical increase in the semi-custodial or noncustodial punishments collateral to penal incarceration.

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