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Creating Criminals

Creating Criminals

Vivien Stern


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Book Details


Market society is producing more crime around the world. More acts are being defined as crimes. Ever increasing numbers of people are classified as criminals and more are being locked up in prison. With globalization, the crime and punishment problem is no longer insulated from pressures beyond national borders. The rich may retreat behind their expensive security into gated communities, but the poor are more and more at the mercy of criminals and corrupt policing. Yet, Vivien Stern argues, the trends towards more criminalization and more imprisonment are not making for more effective crime control or safer communities. This important book demonstrates that the prospects for the future are serious unless NGOs and reformers join in a new movement for reform that gives more control of justice policy back to communities and neighbourhoods.
Dr Vivien Stern is one of the world's leading authorities on criminal justice issues. For many years she was Director of the National Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (NACRO) in Great Britain. She is Honorary Secretary General of Penal Reform International; a former Council Member of the Howard League for Penal Reform; an Honorary Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE); holds an Eisenhower Foundation trusteeship; and is a Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre for Prison Studies, King's College, London. The author of numerous books and reports, her most widely read book has been A Sin Against the Future: Imprisonment in the World (1998).
"This book sparkles with hopeful ideas about how we could reduce crimeand the prison population. It shows how the worldwide move to privately owned prisons and the ideas that flow from marketed services are leading to increased fear of crime, costly prisons and cruel regimes. It outlines very clearly how we could do better.' Clare Short, MP 'Recently, overcrowding and frequent use of incarceration started here in Japan. Vivien's New book encourages us to build up a more humane and more effective way against crimes.' Yuichi Kaido , lawyer, Secretary General of Center for Prisoner's Rights, Japan 'This passionate, accessible book provides a challenging critique of the conventional views of crime and imprisonment throughout the world...this is a book that everyone should read.' Prison Service Journal

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Table of Contents iv
Tables vi
Foreword and Acknowledgements ix
Introduction 1
Crime and Justice in the Twenty-first Century 1
Global Trends 7
The Structure of This Book 8
Notes 9
1 Behind the Bars: the Injustice of Prison 11
A Bad Day in Quito Prison 12
Prisons and the Rule of Law 14
Too Many Prisoners: Not Enough Space 15
Waiting for Trial 18
Prisons and Violence 19
Corruption Thrives in Prisons 22
Living in Prison 24
Life Sentences 27
What Happens to Dangerous Prisoners? 27
Where Did the Idea of Prison Come from? 30
The People in Prison – Who Are They? 32
Women in Prison – Few and Far Between 35
Should Children Be in Prison? 38
Prisons Are Bad for Health 40
Working in Prisons – What Sort of Job Is It? 42
Life after Prison – How Easy Is It? 43
What Is American ‘Exceptionalism’? 44
How Much Imprisonment? 47
If Imprisonment Is an Unjust System, Does It Matter? 49
Notes 50
2 Crime and Its Definition:How Just Is Criminal Justice? 56
Do Prisons Make Society Safer? 56
Measuring Crime – Is It Easy? 59
The Creation of Crimes 61
Who Can Be a Criminal? 62
Measuring Crime Levels Is Difficult 66
Comparing Crime Rates in Different Countries 69
A Biased System? 72
The Poor and Policing 75
How Do Poor People Fare When the Case Comes to Court? 76
The Laws Can Be Biased, Too 79
Even a Good Criminal Justice System is a Limited Way to Control Crime 81
Notes 86
3 Crime – a Good Business? The Impact of the Free Market 90
More Free Markets – More Crime? 92
More Free Markets – More Violence? 97
Trends in the Use of Prison 99
The Market in Imprisonment 100
Speculative Commercial Prison Building 103
The Argument for Commercially Run Prisons 106
Private Sector Prisons – Some Experiences 107
Are Commercially Run Prisons Better? 113
The Opposition to Private Prisons 116
Does Privatization Influence the Direction of Penal Policy? 117
Cashing in on Insecurity 121
A Market in Criminal Justice – Some Implications 125
Notes 126
4 The ‘War on Drugs’and Migration 132
Crime, Drugs and Migration 132
The Drugs War 133
The Links between Illegal Drugs and Crime 134
The War on Drugs Fills the Prisons 137
American ‘Exceptionalism’ Again 140
Drug Policies Make Prisons Worse 141
The Role of the United Nations 143
The Criminalization of Migration 145
Notes 150
5 ‘In the Name of Justice’: Is There a Better Way? 153
Penal Reform in Retreat? 153
Movements for Change 155
Human Rights in Prisons 158
Reform from Inside 159
Fighting for Reform from Outside 165
Ex-prisoners’ Organizations 168
The Contribution of Individuals 168
Using the Law to Protect Prisoners 171
Reducing the Use of Prison 172
Reducing Pre-trial Detention 177
A New View of Punishment 179
A Return to Social Interventions 181
What Is to Be Done? 183
Join the Reform Movement 184
Notes 185
6 Criminal Justice and Social Justice 189
The Penal Journey 189
Criminal Justice as It Should Be 190
Why Should We Care about Prisoners and Prisons? 193
A Regional Approach 196
A Plan of Action 197
The Future 199
Notes 199
Selected Further Reading 200
Index 201