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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73802 Find in a Library
Title: Coming Penal Crisis - A Criminological and Theological Exploration
Editor(s): A E Bottoms; R H Preston
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 253
Sponsoring Agency: Ferguson Trustees

Scottish Academic Press Ltd
Edinburgh, EH7 5JK, Scotland
Sale Source: Scottish Academic Press Ltd
33 Montgomery Street
Edinburgh, EH7 5JK,
United Kingdom
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This volume deals with the current crisis in the British penal system, caused by the collapse of the rehabilitative ideal. It examines the present and future policy options in the general field of punishment of offenders and includes the views of criminologists and theologians.
Abstract: Developments in criminological knowledge in Great Britain, the United States, and Scandinavian coutries are taken into account. Judeo-Christian tradition in British penal thought and the viability of its moral assumptions in the pluralistic society are examined. Contributors to the text attempt to explain why the rehabilitative model, which is based on the assumption that the primary task of the penal system is to reduce the amount of crime in society and correct criminal tendencies in individual delinquents, has collapsed, giving theoretical and practical reasons for its demise. One paper discusses the main alternative to this rehabilitative ideal, the justice model, which sees the primary role of the penal system in meting out 'just' punishment (i.e., without arbitrary discretion by decisionmakers, which is a feature of the rehabilitative model). In addition, radical approaches such as the abolitionist model, are also discussed. Other papers offer thoughts on the crimes of the powerful in view of Christian doctrine, the future of imprisonment in Great Britain from a cultural and social context, trends and developments in the community treatment of offenders, and implications for social policy of current theoretical arguments about penal policy. Overall, most theologians contributing to the text strongly resisted accepting the collapse of the rehabilitative ideal due to their concern for human fulfillment, whereas justice model theorists and others strongly criticized rehabilitative concepts because of their concern for some of the penal structure the ideal produced. Notes and over 200 references are supplied. For individual papers, see NCJ 73803-09.
Index Term(s): Community-based corrections (adult); Correctional reform; Custody vs treatment conflict; Great Britain/United Kingdom; Just deserts theory; Penology; Punishment; Rehabilitation; Religion; Scandinavia; Social conditions; United States of America
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