By David W Garland
This significant new quantity of papers through major criminologists, sociologists and historians, units out what's identified in regards to the political and penological motives of the phenomenon of mass imprisonment. Mass imprisonment, American-style, comprises the penal segregation of enormous numbers of the terrible and minorities. Imprisonment has turn into a crucial establishment for the social keep an eye on of the city negative. different nations at the moment are seeking to the united states to work out what will be realized from this large and arguable social test. This ebook describes mass imprisonment's impression upon crime, upon the minority groups most influenced, upon social coverage and, extra generally upon nationwide tradition. this can be a e-book that each one penologists and poli
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Extra info for Mass Imprisonment: Social Causes and Consequences
My hunch is that the forces behind prison growth vary internationally. To repeat, I am restricting myself to something which I feel I know a little about – the western world, though I must add that information from such different societies as Argentina, Brazil, Russia and Lithuania suggests that television is of fundamental crosscultural importance. And I am not suggesting that the development of television is the only factor behind prison growth in the West. This would be much too simple an explanation, though I should add that there seems to be at least a rough correlation in the West between television consumption in terms of number of hours and symbolic importance and degree of rise in prison populations, with the USA in the lead on both counts.
The modern mass media have [for example] given, at different times, massive and disproportionate attention to a series of ‘outsiders’ . . comparable to the hunting down and parading of witches allegedly possessed by the devil by the medieval and early modern Church . . (Curran, 1982: 227) Curran may to some extent be right in saying that such are the functions of the media in general. He seems definitely right if the reference is television. He ends with the following words: The medieval Church masked the sources of inequality by ascribing social injustice to the sin of the individual; the modern mass media [read television] tend, in more complex and sophisticated ways, to misdirect their audiences by the ways in which they define and explain structural inequalities .
The image of virtue that is endangered by the selected risk is one of moral righteousness and purity (thus the popularity of pre-sexual females as the poster children of crime victimization). There is also a kind of egalitarianism in the focus of this movement on individual moral choices to give in to crime. Crime as a moral choice portrays each individual as equally susceptible to the temptation to give in to evil. Perhaps the most important difference between the left sectarianism of the environmental movement and the right sectarianism of the crime panic is the relationship to the center.