Moral Panics, Social Crusades, and the Criminal Justice Documentary

Cecil Greek, Florida State University

The paper will focus in depth on 3 criminal justice documentaries showing the ongoing impact of moral panics and social crusades on the lives of those likely to have been falsely accused as a result of stepped-up law enforcement efforts. The documentaries covered will be" Capturing the Friedmans, Paradise Lost and Revelations: Paradise Lost Revisited. The first features the child porn scare of the 1980s/1990s and the second and third efforts to brand teens as Satanists during the satanic panic of the same era. The broader implications of the documentary film as a format for critical criminology will be discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006