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NCJ Number: 68042 Find in a Library
Title: EXPERIENCES IN SELF-DISCIPLINE AND SPONTANEOUS MODIFICATION OF THE CONCEPT OF CRIME (FROM CAPITULO CRIMIOLOGICO 5, P 167, 169-203, 1977)
Author(s): M MENDEZ
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 36
Format: Article
Language: Spanish
Country: Venezuela
Annotation: THIS STUDY DESCRIBES AN EXPERIMENT IN SOCIAL SELF-DISCIPLINE, REFLECTED IN AUTONOMOUS JUSTICE CENTERS, WHICH TOOK PLACE IN CHILE UNDER THE COMMUNIST REGIME OF SALVADOR ALLENDE.
Abstract: THIS ARTICLE DETAILS THE ENVIRONMENTS IN WHICH THE NONPOLITICAL AUTONOMOUS JUSTICE CENTERS DEVELOPED SHORTLY BEFORE ALLENDE CAME TO POWER IN 1970, TO FADE OUT OF EXISTENCE SHORTLY AFTER HIS DOWNFALL. THE CENTERS SPROUTED FROM DESIRES OF TWO GROUPS, HOMELESS SQUATTERS LIVING IN ENCAMPMENTS AND PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS, TO CONTROL THE CRIME THAT PLAGUED THEIR LIVES. INDIVIDUALS WITH LEADERSHIP QUALITIES AND SOME EDUCATION IN BOTH GROUPS CREATED LOCAL COUNCILS, VIGILANTE PATROLS, AND INFORMAL NEIGHBORHOOD JUSTICE CENTERS TO DEAL WITH RESIDENTS WHO HAD VIOLATED THEIR OWN RULES FOR DAILY LIVING AND FOR KEEPING THE PEACE, RULES WHICH HAD BEEN VOTED AND AGREED UPON BY ALL MEMBERS OF THE GROUP. OFFENDERS WERE PENALIZED BY BEING ASSIGNED EXTRA COMMUNITY SERVICE FOR MINOR INFRACTIONS, OR EXPELLED FROM THE COMMUNITY OR EVEN TURNED OVER TO THE REGULAR POLICE FOR SERIOUS CRIMES. THIS STUDY FOCUSES CHIEFLY ON THE SELF-DISCIPLINE WHICH THESE SOCIALLY HANDICAPPED, MARGINAL PEOPLE WERE CAPABLE OF IMPOSING UPON THEMSELVES TO IMPROVE THE QUALITY OF THEIR LIVES. IT ALSO EMPHASIZES THEIR CONCEPT OF CRIME. THEY DID NOT CRIMINALIZE OFFENSES AGAINST PRIVATE PROPERTY IN AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE STEALING WAS OFTEN THE ONLY WAY TO AVOID STARVATION; THEY PROSCRIBED AS CRIMINAL FILTH, MISTREATMENT OF WIVES, CHILDREN, AND AGING PARENTS, DRUNKENESS, AND OTHER OFFENSES AGAINST THE COMMUNITY. THIS STUDY FINDS THAT, ALTHOUGH THIS EXPERIMENT IN AUTONOMOUS, OR PARALLEL, JUSTICE CAME TO AN END UNDER ALLENDE'S SUCCESSOR, IT HAD CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED THAT, GIVEN REAL INCENTIVES AND TANGIBLE EXPECTATIONS OF A BETTER LIFE, EVEN SOCIALLY HANDICAPPED PEOPLE ARE CAPABLE OF SPONTANEOUSLY DEVELOPING ATTITUDES THAT DETER OR NEUTRALIZE CRIMINAL CONDUCT IN THEIR MIDST. --IN SPANISH. (LGR)
Index Term(s): Attitudes toward authority; Chile; Mediation; Neighborhood justice centers
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68042

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