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Chapter

26. Alternatives to punishment  

Diversion and restorative justice

This chapter considers two alternatives to punishment: diversion and restorative justice. It begins by looking at approaches to the delivery of criminal justice which challenge conventional assumptions about crime and punishment. It then traces the origins and development of restorative ideas and practices and goes on to discuss the emergence and impact of diversion as an intervention strategy; the purpose of alternatives to punishment and offence resolution; the structure, organisation, and operation of alternatives to punishment; and the achievements of alternatives to punishment. It also cites examples of the implementation of alternatives to punishment before concluding with an assessment of the limitations of alternatives to punishment.

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In this book, consideration has been given to various theories which have been put forward as to why people commit crimes. Some of these explanations claim that they can account for all criminality; others are more modest in their ambition. Some theories locate the primary source of criminality within the individual; others consider that aspects of the organisation of society are mainly responsible. The theories have been fully discussed in the main body of the book and there is no need to summarise them here. Some criminologists, especially in the USA, have tried to create integrated theories, combining both individual and societal explanations (for example, ...

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This chapter examines the role of anomie theory in the sociology of crime and deviance. It begins by discussing Émile Durkheim’s theory of anomie before turning to Robert Merton’s Americanization of anomie, and how sociologists adapted the basic Mertonian schema and modes of adaptation, such as innovation, to explain rising rates of crime under conditions of growing prosperity but persistent inequality. It then considers the contribution of anomie to the development of post-war theories of strain, as well as the questions raised by anomie theory, particularly as the underlying concern in theories of crime, modernization, and development. It also looks at the decline in social capital that has raised concerns about the pace and direction of social and economic change, citing two major works: Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone (2000) and Richard Sennett’s The Corrosion of Character: The Personal Consequences of Work in the New Capitalism (1998).

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Course-focused and comprehensive, the Textbook on series provides an accessible overview of the key areas on the law curriculum. This chapter examines juvenile criminality and peer groups. The discussions cover the concept of anomie and criminality; relative deprivation, strain, and social exclusion; subcultural theories of juvenile deviance; and David Matza and Gresham Sykes' theory of delinquency.

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This chapter examines the appeals system, the most important purpose of which from the legal system’s point of view is the development and clarification of the law. Reviewing the law in this way allows the higher courts to exert some control over the lower courts and adds much to an understanding of the forces shaping the appeals system. From the point of view of litigants, appeals offer a chance to challenge a result they are unhappy with. The chapter discusses restrictions on appeal rights; challenging jury verdicts; due process appeals; post-appeal review of convictions by the Criminal Cases Review Commission; miscarriages of justice, prosecution appeals; and double jeopardy and retrials.

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This chapter focuses on reflective learning and how it should be used by the criminology student to make the most of his/her degree. It guides the students on how to: engage with a reflective learning approach for enhancing their higher education; identify methods for independent learning in the different levels of higher education; apply reflective learning to their employability; and consider how their personal learning journey could help future directions of study for the discipline of criminology. The chapter encourages the students to do something with their newly acquired criminological knowledge and understanding. It also suggests how the core elements of reflective learning practice can be applied to the student's independent learning and official identity as an undergraduate.

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This chapter guides the criminology student on how to undertake research and embark on knowledge production, with particular emphasis on the work required for doing a dissertation. It provides an array of practical and creative tips for developing the student's role as a knowledge producer and becoming a person who contributes to what is — and what is not — known about crime and the criminal justice system. The objective is to enhance the student's undergraduate studies by encouraging him/her to think and act as an independent researcher. The chapter explains why research is important and highlights the breadth of opportunities offered by being an undergraduate researcher in criminology. It considers effective ways of choosing one's research topic, the core features of a dissertation or research project, ethical standards for researchers in criminology, and unconventional methods of dissemination for research.

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1. Becoming a student  

Tips, tricks, and tools for effective learning

This chapter describes the skills required to become an effective, engaged, and employable — or E3 — student of criminology in the university, higher education context. More specifically, it introduces a series of learning tips, tricks, and tools that are intended to make the E3 student a successful, capable, and committed individual who is attractive to employers. The chapter presents the criminology student's route to effectiveness, engagement, and employability as a reflective journey that he/she can embark upon in an informed, active, and critical way. Central to this journey is the identification and utilisation of the ‘travel partners’ located at the university and in the student's department, subject area, programme of study, and classroom. This chapter also considers a range of services, facilities, and people that can help students, including international students and those with disability, to meet their health, well-being, domestic, social, and academic needs.

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Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

The chapter surveys theories concerning the hybrid nature of the plural policing web. It evaluates the claim that a fundamental shift in policing occurred at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Holding police métier as a definitional constant, the chapter examines how policing is enacted from different institutional positions in plural policing. It outlines the history of claims about the rise of plural policing before discussing its relation to law, the military, technology, territory, locality, the rising importance of private ‘high policing’, and the centrality of surveillance. The chapter demonstrates the complex opportunity structure of the plural policing web, the variety of legal and technological tools involved in its operations, and suggests that it poses fundamental problems for the democratic governance of police that have not been resolved. It concludes that there is both continuity and change in the politics of the police and that claims of a fundamental break have been overstated.

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13. Biological and psychological positivism  

Determined to predetermine

This chapter examines the contribution of biology and psychology to our understanding of crime and its causes from the perspective of individual positivism — those aspects of positivist criminological explanations that look for diffrences between criminal and non-criminal populations. It traces the development of biological and psychological positivist thinking from its roots in the nineteenth century through to more modern approaches in the twenty-first century where these biological and psychological traits are merely seen as one factor which may increase the likelihood of criminality rather than causing it. The chapter identifies the main biological and psychological theories relating to criminology and discusses the arguments of positivists regarding punishment and rehabilitation as a means to deal with offenders or criminals. It concludes with an analysis of learning theories that see most criminality as a product of learned behaviour.

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This chapter presents the idea that criminals can be distinguished from the rest of the population by some unusual physical or biological characteristic that renders them inferior. Havelock Ellis cites a law in medieval England that stated that ‘If two persons fell under suspicion of crime, the uglier or more deformed was to be regarded as more probably guilty.’ When Socrates was on trial, a study of his face conducted by a physiognomist was ordered; this showed that he was cruel and inclined to drunkenness. Physiognomy, which is the assessment of character from facial features, in due course, gave way to phrenology. Phrenology held that the workings of the mind are related to the shape of the brain and skull, and that measurement of bumps on the skull can provide an indication of personal characteristics.

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This chapter first explains the nature of different books, journals, and articles encountered in the study of criminology. It introduces textbooks, edited collections, books of key readings, monographs, and dictionaries, together with journals as a key source of latest developments, research findings, criticism, and commentary. It moves on to consider how to find books and articles specified on a reading list. It then considers more generally how to find materials on a particular topic by developing a search strategy and using databases to locate relevant literature.

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This chapter describes the new field of ‘border criminology’, which examines the growing convergence between criminal justice and immigration control. It starts with an overview of the global immigration context before outlining key ideas and areas of scholarship within border criminology. It then turns to look more closely at penal power, drawing on fieldwork and policy analysis to explore the methodological and epistemological implications for criminology of examining citizenship and migration. It ends by arguing for greater engagement with the challenges and effects of mass mobility. As the impact of a decision to arrest in any street in Britain may be felt in countries far away, it is time for criminologists to take into account more explicitly the global nature of criminal justice and reflect on its implications for how and what we study.

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This chapter analyses and explains acts of crimes as moral actions (i.e., actions guided by what is the right or wrong thing to do) within an analytical criminology framework. It outlines some common problems of current mainstream criminological theorizing and research, such as the lack of a shared definition of crime, the poor integration of knowledge about the role of people and places in crime causation, the frequent confusion of causes and correlates, and the lack of an adequate action theory, and proposes a more analytical criminology as the remedy. The chapter introduces Situational Action Theory (SAT), a general, dynamic, and mechanism-based theory about crime and its causes, designed to address these problems and provide a foundation for an analytical criminology. It concludes by briefly discussing main implications for the future direction of policy and prevention.

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This chapter focuses on the University of Chicago’s sociology department and the work done by its sociologists on crime and deviance during the 1920s and 1930s. The chapter first provides a background on the University of Chicago, its sociology department, and the city. It then considers the Chicago sociologists’ use of ecology in their research, the apparent contradictions in their explanation of criminality and deviance, and their emphasis on moral diversity rather than discord, pathology, or disorganization. It examines the approach used by Chicago sociologists to launch an intellectual assault on the study of the city, focusing on social problems and offering explanations of crime and delinquency based on the peculiar conditions of the so-called zone in transition. What the University of Chicago sociology department accomplished was a decisive break with the haphazard, solitary, and ill-maintained studies associated with proto-criminology. The result was a model of an urban criminology.

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This chapter examines a notable feature of the English legal system that has waxed and waned over the last decades—civil preventive orders. These are orders that may be made by a court sitting as a civil court; orders that contain prohibitions created by the court as a response to conduct by the defendant; and orders the breach of which amounts to a criminal offence. Thus, civil preventive order involves a kind of hybrid or two-step process (first, the making of the order according to civil procedure and, secondly, criminal proceedings in the event of breach), which has several implications for the criminal process and for the rights of defendants. More recently their form has been altered and their use moderated.

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This chapter discusses in detail the two major themes in the formation of criminological thinking. The tension between these two traditions has existed since the development of positivism in the nineteenth century, and is still of considerable importance in present-day debates about crime and ‘law and order’. It is common to single out France as typifying all that was bad with the administration of the criminal law in pre-eighteenth-century Europe. France provided an extreme example of what passed as criminal ‘justice’ throughout most of Europe. It was generally believed that crime was the consequence of evil. In some cases, it was assumed that the Devil or demons had taken over individuals and directed them to perform wicked acts. Alternatively, people whose faith in God was weak might have yielded to temptation and made a pact with the Devil.

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This chapter explains the history, philosophies, current practices, and policy debates surrounding those sanctions that are often referred to as ‘alternatives to prison’. The discussions cover the types of community sentences and sentencing trends; the National Probation Service and National Offender Management Service; ways of understanding the politics of punishment in the community; diversity and punishment in the community; community sentences and populist punitiveness; community sentences and the ‘What Works?’ agenda; and community sentences and probation in other countries.

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Benjamin Bowling, Robert Reiner, and James Sheptycki

The concluding chapter pulls together the implications of the earlier chapters of this book for an assessment of where policing is heading, and what is to be done to achieve greater effectiveness, fairness, and justice. It seeks to answer eight specific questions: What is policing? Who does it? What do police do? What are police powers? What social functions do they achieve? How does policing impact on different groups? By whom are the police themselves policed? How can policing practices be understood? It considers technological, cultural, social, political, economic changes and their implications for crime, order, and policing. It also examines the multifaceted reorientation of police thinking, especially shifts in the theory and practice of policing in the 1990s that included the rhetoric of consumerism. The chapter considers the limits of police reform and the implications of neo-liberalism for the police before concluding with a call for policing based on the principles of social democracy.

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This chapter discusses the two contrasting views of society that have been repeatedly put forward through history. First is the consensus view, whereby it is claimed that society is based on a general consensus of values and that the state is operated in such a way as to protect this. Labelling theorists, such as Howard Becker, raised as a central issue the question ‘Who makes the rules and why?’ This reflected a contrasting, conflict view of society which recognises that society includes groups with competing values and interests. Unlike the consensus view, a conflict approach claims that the state does not uphold the interests of society as a whole, but only those of the groups that are powerful enough to control it. The best-known conflict theorist was Karl Marx, who argued that, in capitalist societies, the state is controlled by those who own the means of production.