Fear: crime and punishment

Cunneen, Chris (2010) Fear: crime and punishment. Dialogue, 29 (2). pp. 44-54.

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Australia, like many western nations, has seen an unprecedented rise in the levels of imprisonment over recent decades. Several factors have flowed from this overreliance on criminalisation and imprisonment as a tool of social policy:

• governments have seen a significant growth in budgets allocated to criminal justice expenditure at the cost of providing community-based resources;

• criminal justice policy has become increasingly politicised with little difference between the policies of major parties except to the extent that they try to outdo each other in more punitive approaches to law and order; and

• perhaps most importantly, it has been the more marginalised and less powerful social groups which have experienced the brunt of growing prison numbers. In particular, people with mental illness, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and women have seen the most significant increases in their rates of imprisonment. One effect of these policies has been, at a considerable financial cost, to further entrench the social exclusion of the already marginalised.

Item ID: 15871
Item Type: Article (Non-Refereed Research)
ISSN: 1441-8460
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Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2011 02:43
FoR Codes: 18 LAW AND LEGAL STUDIES > 1801 Law > 180110 Criminal Law and Procedure @ 100%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9404 Justice and the Law > 940403 Criminal Justice @ 100%
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