The culture of control: choosing the future

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 7 (2):49-75 (2004)
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Abstract

This essay uses Garland’s framework from The Culture of Control to suggest an agenda for critical penology. This includes, as well as the analysis of choices actually made and the cultural repertoire actually available, describing and advocating other possible choices, and analysing the conditions of possibility for the adoption of other (better) policies and practices; and examining the implications for the future of choices which are currently being made. Carlen’s Women and Punishment: The Struggle for Justice and Garland’s edited collection Mass Imprisonment in the USA are examples of these penologies. Another way in which penologists, social theorists and philosophers can attempt to influence policy choices is to contribute to enlargement of the available cultural repertoire. The development and promotion of restorative justice is given as one example of this; another is work by philosophers such as Duff, Matravers and Norrie which addresses questions such as the source, nature and limits of penal communities; the basis of political obligation, and the relational nature of responsibility for crime.

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