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NCJ Number: 64048 Find in a Library
Title: POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CRIME (FROM THE SUBSTANCE OF SOCIAL DEVIANCE, 1978, BY VICTORIA LYNN SWIGERT AND RONALD A FARRELL)
Author(s): R QUINNEY
Corporate Author: Alfred Publishing Co Inc
United States of America
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Alfred Publishing Co Inc
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE MODERN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM AS NECESSARY TO AN ADVANCED CAPITALIST SYSTEM IN CONTROLLING PEOPLE NO LONGER NEEDED BY THE SYSTEM.
Abstract: CRIMINAL JUSTICE SPENDING INCREASES AS CAPITALISM ADVANCES. IN AN ADVANCED CAPITALIST SYSTEM, MUCH OF THE POPULATION BECOMES SUPERFLUOUS TO THE ECONOMY; THUS, THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS CREATED TO LEGITIMIZE CAPTALISM AND CONTROL THE SURPLUS POPULATION, WHICH THREATENS TO DISTURB THE SYSTEM. TO OFFSET THE COST OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, MONOPOLY CAPITAL ALLIES ITSELF WITH STATE-FINANCED CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND OTHER SOCIAL CONTROL PROGRAMS. THUS, BOTH CAPITALISTS AND SURPLUS POPULATIONS ARE REMUNERATED. BURGEONING SOCIAL PROGRAMS EMPLOY SOME PEOPLE AS GOVERNMENT WORKERS, BUT OTHERS ARE CONTROLLED BY BEING OBJECTS OF THESE SOCIAL CONTROL PROGRAMS, THE MOST EXPLICIT BEING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM. AN EXPANDING CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS ALLEGED TO BE THE ONLY WAY LATE CAPITALISM CAN INTEGRATE THE SURPLUS POPULATIONS INTO THE POLITICO-ECONOMIC SYSTEM, SINCE CONTROLLING THE OPPRESSED SURPLUS IS THE ALTERNATIVE TO ABANDONING CAPITALISM. THE MODERN CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM CONTROLS NOT ONLY BY HARSH, PUNITIVE MEASURES, BUT BY PACIFYING THE SURPLUS POPULATION THROUGH SOFT MEASURES SUCH AS COMMUNITY CORRECTION PROGRAMS. CONTROL BECOMES MORE DIFFICULT DURING HARD TIMES: STUDIES INDICATE THAT PRISON POPULATIONS FLUCTUATE WITH THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE. PRISONS ARE ALSO USED FOR CRIMES SUCH AS ASSAULT, BURGLARY, AND ROBBERY, COMMITTED BY THE SURPLUS PEOPLES, RATHER THAN CRIMES OF THE CAPITALIST CLASSES. SENTENCING REFORM AS A SURPLUS POPULATION CONTROL MEASURE IS ALSO DISCUSSED. REFERENCES ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): Capitalism; Cultural influences; Economic influences; Political influences; Social classes
Note: REPRINTED FROM 'THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE' IN CLASS, STATE AND CRIME, P 137-140
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=64048

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