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NCJ Number: 204927 Find in a Library
Title: Globalising Risk? Distinguishing Styles of Neoliberal Criminal Justice in Australia and the USA (From Criminal Justice and Political Cultures: National and International Dimensions of Crime Control, P 30-48, 2004, Tim Newburn and Richard Sparks, eds., -- See NCJ-204926)
Author(s): Pat O'Malley
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Willan Publishing
Portland, OR 97213-3644
Sale Source: Willan Publishing
c/o ISBS, 5804 N.E. Hassalo Street
Portland, OR 97213-3644
United States of America
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Format: Book (Softbound)
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter presents a comparative analysis of the divergent types of “neoliberal” criminal justice practiced in the United States and Australia.
Abstract: The identification of risk as a criminal justice strategy has consumed the United States and spread to numerous other countries, such as the United Kingdom. Such risk-based criminal justice strategies have emerged within the virulently anti-welfare stance of the United States neoliberalism. The anti-welfare neoliberalism of the United States and its focus on actuarial justice is contrasted with Australia’s pro-welfare neoliberalism that emphasizes integrative justice techniques. Actuarial justice is described as the ascendant strategy of risk-based criminal justice and is criticized as reducing interventions of justice to simple incapacitating techniques that eschew reintegrative or therapeutic interventions. This emergence of this type of justice coincided historically with the rise of an anti-correctional politics hostile of the “welfare sanction.” The goal became to improve fiscal accountability and offer a cost effective system of justice. The analysis goes on to charge that actuarial justice created an underclass, which was labeled as the primary societal problem to be controlled through criminal justice. Thus, American actuarial justice engages in the politics of exclusion by labeling one class as the primary threat and then working to exclude and contain this group through justice techniques. In Australia, on the other hand, the politics of neoliberalism have spawned not a system of exclusionary justice as seen in the United States, but rather a system of justice that locates criminal intentions in situations and historical circumstances, rather than in individuals. In Australia and New Zealand, the creation of an underclass never actually happened; instead those who were chronically unemployed and deviant in these countries were viewed as victims of circumstances not of their making. When youth crime became a problem in Australia, the government took the blame for the structural changes that displaced the jobs of many youth. Finally, the American “War on Drugs” is contrasted with the Australian risk-based strategy of harm minimization. While the “War on Drugs” involves the militarization of drug policy and the identification of risk as an individual problem, the Australian strategy of harm minimization focuses on risk as situational, not individual. Thus, the author has illustrated how the conservative neoliberalism of the United States contrasts with the social-democratic neoliberalism of Australia. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Comparative analysis; Criminal justice system analysis
Index Term(s): Australia; Political influences; Risk management; United States of America
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