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(p. 742) 27. Critical perspectives on crime and punishment 

(p. 742) 27. Critical perspectives on crime and punishment
(p. 742) 27. Critical perspectives on crime and punishment

Steve Case

, Phil Johnson

, David Manlow

, Roger Smith

, and Kate Williams

Page of

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date: 29 May 2020

This chapter examines a range of perspectives which question the assumptions underlying the concept of ‘punishment’. It first explains what is meant by the idea of critical perspectives on punishment before discussing a number of critical perspectives on the justice system including abolitionism, social control theories, community justice, and transformative justice. It then explores unjust punishment and problems for criminal justice of discrimination and inequality, focusing on the disparities in treatment between white, BME, and other sectors of the population in the criminal justice system. It also considers how ‘crimes of the privileged’ and state crimes can remain unseen or unpunished and concludes with an evaluation of the limitations of critical analyses of crime and punishment.

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