The New Culture of Crime Control

David Garland, New York University

Drawing upon US and UK materials, this paper describes how the field of crime control and criminal justice has been transformed in the last 25 years. It suggests that this transformation - itself an adaptation to broader economic, social and cultural changes - is less a matter of structural than of cultural change. Although the institutional structures of crime control and criminal justice have been transformed in important respects, the most significant change is at the level of the cultural commitments and sensibilities that enliven these structures, orders their use and shapes their meaning. The paper will describe that new culture of control, and specifically its three central elements: (i) a re-coded penal-welfarism (ii) a criminology of control (iii) an economic style of reasoning.

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Updated 05/20/2006