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Lecture 3

SOC371H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Welfarism, Mandatory Sentencing, Retributive Justice

by Maya

Course Code
Amy Klassen

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Lecture 3
Lecture notes:
Questions of the day?
How has punishment changed since the birth of the prison?
What role does risk-based thinking have in penality? Using Maurutto and Hannah-Moffat
as an example, explain the limitation of the new penology and the demise of
Explain why there has been a punitive turn and give 2 examples of how punitiveness is
Recap of Foucault’s Discipline and Punish
Discipline is about managing the mind not physically punishing the body
Discipline involves the body, knowledge, and power
Knowing the individual is crucial for transforming the soul.
Constant surveillance aids in knowledge production and normalization.
o Panopticon is the best model for this
Prison control represents wider social control
Rehabilitation was part of post-war prosperity, rising welfare state, economic security,
and social solidarity
o They system was doing well, thus they had money to spend on social programs
o Around the 1950’s and 1960’s
Punishment should be transformative rather than retributive
o Prison was supposed to be the last resort and the community was necessary to
provide treatment programs
o Prison should help people and treat them and become better people
o Due to the this prison sentences were long because rehabilitation takes time
o The problem was indeterminate sentences were coercive
Characterize by individualized, indeterminate and discretionary correctional control,
expert led
o Not everyone was treated equal and not all crimes got the same punishment
o Not all those who committed the same crime got the same punishment
o Based on expert advice and the government was mainly responsible for the
exercising of punishment and what punishment was used
Rehabilitation and penal welfarism are the same thing
2 key aspects of penal welfarism:
Social reform and affluence can reduce the frequency of crime
o By fixing people’s SES then it would reduce crime
o Gov’t was responsible for punishment there was no onus on the individual
o Criminal was seen as a young and disadvantaged person
State is responsible for the control and punishment
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Penal Welfarism Continued
State had monopoly over punishment criminal subjects are seen as in need rather than
Retributive justice was counter-productive, offenders could be reformed
o Eye for eye is not going to be productive
Crime is seen as a social problem manifested through individual action, need to address
social conditions
o Eg. Low education, low SES
Social context: narrative of inclusion/humanitarianism; effectiveness of social control;
economic prosperity; confidence in experts; supported by social elites; appeared valid
and effective; no real political opposition (until 1970)
o Push toward inclusion
o Not a lot of political opposition
o Public had trust in the state, not a lot of concern on what was happening in the
Penal welfare is embedded in the cultural and social context in the post war era
Punishment was reformist and was about addressing social ill, similar to Foucault’s
ideals as well
Punishment was seen as something that was helpful and supported
Started being critiqued in the late 1960’s
Critiques of the discriminatory nature of indeterminate sentences; paternal nature of state
o It wasn’t fair that different people got different punishment, they wanted
o Concern for the paternal nature of the system (“the state knows best “ideal)
o Growing concern for prisoner’s rights
o Prison becomes a way to oppress the racial minorities
Demands for limits of state control over punishment; growing distrust for experts;
demand for a separation of treatment from punishment; call for promoting self-
determination in lower classes; deviance a product of power not individual pathology
o Concern started to emerge whether rehabilitation was actually reducing
Martinson and “Nothing Works” – rehabilitation does not reduce crime and recidivism
o Highlighted that prison isn’t effective
o People realized rehabilitation wasn’t worth the money since it doesn’t reduce
o The dissatisfaction in penal welfare is rooted in the cultural context in the 1970’s
Garland (2001) demise of penal welfarism akin to a stock market crash
o Rehabilitation became subordinate to retribution
o Use cost effectiveness, punish only serious crimes
Decline of the welfare ideal and the emergence of punitive sanctions and expressive
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