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O' Malley.docx

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Zachary Levinsky

Volatile and Contradictory Punishment- Pat O’Malley  Modern penal policy and practice characterized by unusual degree of incoherence and unpredictability o According to Garland- this is evidence of limits of sovereign state o Simon- sign of postmodern breakdown of modern penality o Emergence of advanced liberalism and neo-liberalism  Article argues that such coherence is better understood in terms of contradictory elements of New Right politics Symptoms of Chaos?  Different forms of punishment (i.e. disciplinary vs. incapacitation)  Diversity of sanctioning characteristic of penal modernism  In some jurisdictions, all forms of punishment may be available as an option Categories of sanctions: Discipline  Program of strict discipline for young offenders that ‘must teach social control, self discipline, respect for authority and a work ethic’  Structured schedules- uniforms, work programs, development of skills; emphasis on behaviour modification  Extreme versions include military drill  Similar to Foucault’s Discipline and Punish- inculcating instinctive habits of obedience appear to be aim of intervention Punishment  Justification is usually that welfare and correctional models muddied factors that potential criminals must include in pre-offence decision making  Little or no sympathy with rehabilitative aim of strict disciplinary programs  Reflect concern that rehabilitative sanctions provide skilling benefits not available t law abiding  Reflect concerns of those who rail against sentences determined by reformist timetables rather than seriousness of offence Enterprise  Creating ‘enterprising prisoners’  Garland- enterprise approach partakes more positive discipline in which prisoners are ‘trained for freedom’  “entrepreneur of his own personal development”  Permitted to choose their preferred options from within certain options; **regard prisoners as being given opportunity to make an enterprise of their lives and seek to enlist rather than force** Incapacitation  ‘warehousing’ of prisoners and close surveillance of offenders serving community correctional sentences prominent feature of contemporary criminal justice  Neither a rehabilitative nor punitive approach  Determination of length of sentence is actuarial (relating to calculation of risk)- i.e. three strikes rule ; fixed by risk profile of offender and linked to preventative concerns  Justified on basis that nothing (reformative) works and rehabilitation programs are expensive and don’t work Restitution  Disconnecting offending and the state  Individual victims and offenders privately negotiate restitution Reintegration  Seeks to work through informal procedures to restore individual to collectivity  Braithwaite- condemning ‘counterproductive’ stigmatization essential to retribution Explaining Volatile and Contradictory Punishment  Jonathan Simon- development of boot camps ‘evidences an endgame of penal modernity’ o Boot camp is what some call ‘willful nostalgia’, a sensibility that is a crucial marker of post- modernization in variety of social fields o Nostalgic because it has no reference to anything functionally meaningful in contemporary society o **decadence of late modernity; sanctions go back to lost industrial and modernist past, and have no functional connection with the present**  Where punitive and just deserts tendencies linked to return of sanctions such as death penalty and chain gangs  Development of boot camps attributed to success of neo-liberal politics (political rejection of welfarism in general and emphasis on individual responsibility for consequences of actions)  New Right political discourses- failure of reformism, argue that such failure led to necessity to develop new forms of penal and criminal preventative regime  Neo-liberal pressures also seen to be behind model of ‘enterprising prisoner’  Movement toward penal incapacitation explained in terms of rise of neo-liberalism (reference to focus on economic accountability and efficiency) o Incapacitation also linked to other developments associated with ‘risk society’ thesis  Feeley and Simon- incapacitation as part of broader and apolitical logic of risk management in which actuarial techniques and actuarial justice are displacing technologies of individual discipline  Restitution and reintegration linked with many shifts in contemporary social order o Braithwaite- suggests that re-integrative sanctions may be connected with late modern shift toward shame rather than guilt o Increasing salience of restitution seen as consistent with neo-liberal maneuvers to responsibilize individuals and to take state out of as social life as possible  Cohen- sees the same processes as reflecting pressures to bring institutions of civil society back into social control  Key limitation of such explanation is that because each relates to particular sanction they don’t confront and don’t account for diversity and incoherence of programs  Theses that offer to make sense of problem: o Incoherence and volatility reflect limits of sovereign state o Such volatility reflects disintegration of modernity and its displacement by post modernity o That all of these apparently incoherent sanctions can be united under common umbrella of neo- liberal political rationality Limits of the Sovereign State  Garland- inability of state policy interventions to reduce high crime rates generated governmental predicament which is manifested in ‘recurring ambivalence’ toward criminal justice and its penalties  Governments now wish to deny primary responsibility for crime control o Recognize that political consequences of such a move are potentially disastrous o Result is the ‘volatile and contradictory character of recent crime control policy’  Crime characterized by governments as part of normality properly governable through everyday life and increased private sector responsibility, and as product of personal and social monstrousness requiring punitive state intervention o Garland- contradictions rationalized as ‘policy of bifurcation’, its real roots lie in political ambivalence which results from state confronted by its own limitations o **recognition that penal policy is not necessarily a rational and consistent whole, and is responsive to dilemmas…  Criticisms of Garland: o Attention draw to tensions between only town more or less polar responses of state; polit
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