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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 89726 Find in a Library
Title: Fighting the Appeal of Repression
Journal: Crime and Social Justice  Issue:18  Dated:(Winter 1982)  Pages:23-33
Author(s): F Cullen; J Wozniak
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This essay examines the appeal of the right-wing law and order response to crime and then suggests ways that liberal criminologists can counter conservatives, such as demonstrating the ineffectiveness and costliness of their policies and the potential practical benefits of traditional approaches like rehabilitation.
Abstract: The current popularity of repression as a crime control strategy lies in the systematic and largely successful efforts by both conservatives and leftists to discredit the once dominant correctional ideology of rehabilitation. Short-term reforms can be meaningful if they restrict the state's proclivity to get tough and administer greater harm. From this perspective, criminologists must expose the irrationality of the law and order stance, showing that it does not repress crime and is very expensive. They can also emphasize that conservatives have done little for victims of crime, oppose all prison construction, continue the struggle for offender rights, and oppose determinate sentencing reform. Rehabilitation should be reaffirmed, since studies demonstrate that treatment programs do suppress recidivism, improve offenders' skills, and are generally supported by inmates. The rhetoric of inmate work might also provide a new ideological vehicle for doing good in prisons, as might religion. Over 50 references are included.
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Custody vs treatment conflict; Radical criminology; Rehabilitation
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