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The Oxford Handbook of Criminology

The Oxford Handbook of Criminology (7th edn)

Alison Liebling, Shadd Maruna, and Lesley McAra
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date: 22 May 2024

p. 85339. Punishment in the community: Evolution, expansion, and moderationlocked

p. 85339. Punishment in the community: Evolution, expansion, and moderationlocked

  • Gwen Robinson
  •  and Fergus McNeill

Abstract

This chapter examines the development and expansion of community sanctions and measures in the UK since the introduction of probation in the early twentieth century. After introducing the main types of punishment in the community (supervision; unpaid work; treatment and other activities; restrictions and prohibitions), it considers their evolution in relation to four main rationales: rehabilitation, reparation, management, and punitiveness. The chapter then reviews some key sociological perspectives on punishment in the community, focusing on work inspired by Foucault, Durkheim, and Marx. Finally, it provides an introduction to recent research on punishment in the community in other jurisdictions, particularly Europe and the USA. The chapter presents two main conclusions: firstly, that there is now substantial international evidence to suggest that the expansion of punishment in the community has failed to deliver reductions in the use of imprisonment; and secondly, that arguments for penal moderation should take into account the ‘painful’ character of community sanctions and measures.

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