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NCJ Number: 156293 Find in a Library
Title: Counterfeit Conservatism and the War on Crime
Journal: Reclaiming Children and Youth  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(Spring 1995)  Pages:18-24
Author(s): L K Brendtro; A E Ness
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 7
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is the first of two articles on the thinking errors that underlie both punitive and rehabilitative approaches to delinquency; the authors examine the current reversion to a punitive public mentality that is being promoted as a purportedly conservative agenda for fighting crime and delinquency.
Abstract: The punitive mentality of chest-beating is nothing new in history. As the United States is moving toward locking away huge numbers of citizens, particularly young males of color, policymakers should reflect on how such a policy fared in South Africa. In the late forties, the pro-apartheid nationalists launched a political campaign by exploiting white fear of black crime. Throughout history propagandists have used fear to justify violence toward fellow humans. When angry emotions are ignited, the result is a hatred-driven vindictiveness. The ethic of brotherly love is conveniently suspended by the psychology of vengeance. Certainly, punishments are an essential part of the social fabric of any society, but they must be administered in a manner that restores the wayward to the social bond. The notion that institutions can intimidate or punish persons into transforming their lives is faulty psychology and false religion. 15 references
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Juvenile delinquency prevention; Juvenile rehabilitation; Punishment
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