skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 89727 Find in a Library
Title: Crime and Punishment in the United States - Immediate and Long-Term Reforms From a Marxist Perspective
Journal: Crime and Social Justice  Issue:18  Dated:(Winter 1982)  Pages:38-45
Author(s): T Platt
Date Published: 1982
Page Count: 8
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The author analyzes the failure of the New Left to take crime seriously in the late 1960's and 1970's or generate progressive alternatives to the politics of law and order and then outlines specific reforms for the criminal justice system from the Marxist perspective.
Abstract: Although the shift to the right in criminal justice and penal policies has been evident in many advanced capitalist countries, the argument that harsher punishment combats crime has been undermined by U.S. victimization surveys showing that crime rates remained stable throughout the 1970's. Before a new round of progressive activism begins, it is valuable to examine the heritage of the New Left -- organizations of government and corporate reformers, petty bourgeois liberals, and working class activists whose efforts contributed to the demise of progressive reform. These groups had a simplistic view of the police, seeing them as direct instruments of the ruling class, and a romantic and utopian approach to prisons. They dismissed any correctional reforms short of revolution as tokenism and stressed the primacy of individual rights over rehabilitation. The New Left also failed to address the problem of street crime in working class communities and offered no realistic long-term alternatives to criminal justice under capitalism. Policy recommendations propose to bring equal justice back to the bail system, abolish mandatory sentences and restore indeterminate sentences, combat racism in criminal justice professionals, and prosecute corporate crime and racist violence. Other recommendations are to increase employment to lower incarceration rates, restore funding for community alternatives to imprisonment, and support prisoners' human rights. The paper includes 34 references.
Index Term(s): Criminal justice system policy; Criminal justice system reform; Custody vs treatment conflict; Marxism; Radical criminology
Note: This paper was prepared for the World Congress of Sociology in Mexico City, August 1982.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=89727

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.