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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 74072 Find in a Library
Title: Civilization of Conflicts (From Crime and Crime Control in Scandinavia, 1976-80, P 79-83, 1980, Norman Bishop, ed. - See NCJ-74060)
Author(s): N Christie
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 5
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Sweden
Annotation: The difficulties of applying nonpunitive civil law penalties for criminal offenses within highly civilized industrial societies are discussed, and the results are reported of a seminar held under Norwegian auspices on conflict solutions that are alternatives to penal law.
Abstract: The ideology of treatment as a cure of criminal behavior, which has characterized crime control systems in several Western countries, has been cast in doubt by an increasing number of studies indicating that this method does not work. Replacement theories of general deterrence as well as 'neo-classical' approaches to criminal policy are also unsatisfactory because they are too punitive and do not fully satisfy the demands of justice. Instead, the idea of restitution or victim compensation, as practiced by the civil law of less industrialized countries, should be adopted by Western societies. However, such conflict solution alternatives to criminal law present a number of problems, as identified and discussed at a recent Scandinavian criminological research seminar. In addition to defining a conflict as perceived by people in particular societies, other problems include determining what keeps a conflict hidden and what makes it visible, defining how the mechanisms of nonpenal bodies for conflict resolution actually function, identifying the consequences of professional assistance offered to local forms of conflict solution, determining the interests of the parties involved in conflict solutions, exploring the limits of conflict solution mechanisms, and resolving whether it is realistic to expect that closer contact between the offender and the victim can improve the victim's situation. Discussion of such problems will at least ensure that the total set of social values will be a factor in conflict resolution. No references are given.
Index Term(s): Conflict resolution; Correctional reform; Cultural influences; Custody vs treatment conflict; Restitution; Scandinavia; Victim compensation
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