Explaining Criminal Justice Growth: Detailing the Growth-Complex Framework

Peter B. Kraska, Eastern Kentucky University

ABSTRACT
They have warned us. Max Weber, Robert Merton, the Frankfurt School, scholars studying the Holocaust, and a numerous sociologists and public administrative theorists have cautioned us about the propensity of bureaucracies, whether public or private, to lose sight of their original purpose and pursue their own self-serving ends of survival, growth, and power. In our discipline's quest to understand the behavior of criminal justice and trends in crime control, the "industrial-complex" thesis has recently garnered a good deal of attention. This paper details what it labels the "growth complex" theoretical framework, focusing on organizing concepts such as "technical rationality," "moral indifference," and "neo-liberalism."

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Updated 05/20/2006