CRIM 2653 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Leon Radzinowicz, Left Realism, Economic Inequality

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26 Sep 2015

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Public Policy and Criminological Research: Theoretical Over-view: Lecture 2
How did the theorists get to the conclusions?
Relationship between theory and practice
What do we mean by the terms criminology and social policy? Pg3
oAfter ww2, emergency of welfare state – function of economic changes,
economic consequences of war, rise key Keynesian
oBecame discrete subject of investigation
oWelfare, state could mitigate against inequalities caused by capitalism
oWelfare, healthcare, social security, pensions, services
oMitigating against worst inequalities
oSocial policy bureaucratized taught down state policies, directed at
managing the working class – institutionalizing control
oJohn Lea – tells story of left realist – Marxist
oDavid Garland
oKnepper – pg.4
Action” research: the bridge b/w the ideals and universals of theory and the
practicalities of ordinary life
oMaintaining social order
Leon Radzinowicz
Denied distribution of resources, social welfare would stop prevent crime
Elective affinity – association b/w 2 things we want to see
Connection b/w poverty and crime
Giving labels: at risk youth, neighbourhoods
If there’s a relationship b/w poverty and crime why isn’t the
number of poor people high in jail
Relationship B/W Criminology and Social Policy
Knepper (4-8) outlines the ways the two disciplines were incompatible. Experts in
social policy looked at crime as a “social problem” rather than a policy problem
or an individual problem. They focused much on the distribution of resources than
on curbing human behaviour
The Lombrosian origins of criminology tended to lead the discipline to focus on
the individual, or human nature, as the source of crime. Over time, people such
Radzinowicz sought to develop “rational improvements” in the system of
punishment and rehabilitation that were aimed largely at the reform of individuals
oIndividual – internal – units of analysis small, groups of offenders
Issues of character/nature of individuals
Qualitative research
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oSocial – external – social statistics, unit of analysis is large
Economic inequality
The State and Social Science
Knepper (8-16) tracks the main intellectual debates b/w criminologists over their
role in policy information.
oNotes the evolution of criminological stances on policy from positivist
roles to advocacy; thus, highlights the main lines of debate that will run
throughout this course
Science or Advocacy?
Experimental Criminology
oPrivileged one view of the scientific method (erroneously) took science to
mean the search irrefutable empirical facts – best method of studying
oAgnostic/experimental about values and the ends of policy
oFocus is on “evidence-based policy” and “what works”
oAlleges to make crime research an “ideology-free” zone
oApplies the model of medical science
Double blinded control study – works well with drug not
Driven by countable/measurable results not double blinded control
oProblem: time frame
Can’t demonstrate empirical evidence w/n 5 years, funding cut
Children experiment that will show in about 10 years (anti-
bullying campaign)
oSituational crime prevention: military language, target hardening.
Cctv, 5 years – demonstrate burglary going down
oInstitutional level – dominant line of research, funded by governments
Crime Science
Criminology as a science for thwarting criminals
oFocus is pragmatic and examines how criminals commit crimes rather than
why they commit them
oPure vs. practical/applied research
Developing techniques to prevent crime
oJames Q. Wilson: “causal” vs. “policy” analysis
Situational crime prevention school scp – opportunity reduction
Claimed that mistake that people made is that they confused causal
vs policy
Remove opportunity for crime
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