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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 168121 Find in a Library
Title: Birth of the Prison: Discipline or Punish?
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:24  Issue:5  Dated:(1996)  Pages:449-458
Author(s): R R Sullivan
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 10
Type: Book Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This is an extensive critique of Michel Foucault's examination of the prison entitled Discipline and Punish.
Abstract: Although the English title of Foucault's book is Discipline and Punish, the author for the most part says nothing on punishment and devotes his entire effort to establishing that the prison was conceived to perform the latent social control function of discipline. Since discipline is not a conscious function, there is no conscious effort to justify it. Not surprisingly, the modern prison emerges from Foucault's analysis as a morally questionable public institution. Had Foucault examined the other term of his title and even had he done so in terms provided by his bete noire, Jeremy Bentham, he would have discovered that a good deal of effort was expended to justify the punishment concepts that were incorporated in the prison. The prison, which in any case was not born when and how Foucault says it was, emerges as a more complex social and political institution than Foucault makes it out to be. It is also less morally questionable than he claims. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Corrections
Index Term(s): Correctional institutions (adult); Criminology; Criminology theory evaluation; Custody vs treatment conflict; Discipline; History of corrections; Incarceration; Jails; Punishment; Reference materials
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