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NCJ Number: 93333 Find in a Library
Title: System Maintenance and Legitimation - An Historical Illustration of the Impact of National Task Forces and Committees on Correction
Journal: Journal of Criminal Justice  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(1984)  Pages:61-70
Author(s): D B Kalinich; D Banas
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 10
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Historically, national bodies have addressed the problem of change and reform within the correctional system. The thesis of this article is that special task force commissions, such as the National Advisory Commission on Corrections which generated extensive standards and goals for corrections in 1973, inhibit rather than promote change within the system they are charged with reforming.
Abstract: This negative impact takes place for several reasons: First, the establishment of such commissions will tend to reduce pressures for change. Second, the members of such commissions, by virtue of their socialization and training, are more adept at processing the language of the system than dealing with its substance. Third, commissions, by making recommendations for change, revise the language through which the system is conceptualized, which in effect legitimizes the system in its existing form. Commissions iterate and legitimize the status quo rather than promote system-wide change. The changes which do occur are only those which are necessary to insure that the system will remain stable. In an attempt to illustrate the arguments, excerpts from Corrections, published by the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals (1973) are compared with Transactions, published by the National Congress on Penitentiary and Reformatory Discipline (1870). (Author abstract)
Index Term(s): Correctional reform; Crime commissions; Evaluative research; Failure factors
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