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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. 88641. Confronting state power: dissenting voices and the demand for penal abolitionlocked

p. 88641. Confronting state power: dissenting voices and the demand for penal abolitionlocked

  • Joe Sim

Abstract

This chapter discusses dissenting voices and demands for penal abolition in line with confronting state power. It starts with the call for defunding prisons being central to the abolitionist praxis in England and Wales, which correlates to George Floyd's brutal murder by a police officer. Additionally, prosecutions add another layer to the abolitionist critique of the dangerous prisoner. Since 1970, abolitionists in England and Wales have demonstrated that another penal and social world is possible through contestation and resistance. The chapter notes the historical movement's idealistic commitment to building a better world, based on a collective, compassionate sense of social justice.

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