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Chapter Eight:. Social Conflict, Critical Criminology and Restorative Justice . Objectives. Be familiar with the concept of social conflict and how it shapes behavior Be able to discuss elements of conflict in the justice system Be familiar with the idea of critical criminology

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Chapter eight l.jpg

Chapter Eight:

Social Conflict, Critical Criminology and

Restorative Justice

Objectives l.jpg

  • Be familiar with the concept of social conflict and how it shapes behavior

  • Be able to discuss elements of conflict in the justice system

  • Be familiar with the idea of critical criminology

  • Be able to discuss the differences between structural and instrumental Marxism

  • Know the various techniques of critical research

  • Be able to discuss the term “left realism”

  • Understand the concept of patriarchy

  • Know what is meant by feminist criminology

  • Be able to discuss peacemaking

  • Understand the concept of restorative justice

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Contemporary Critical Criminology

  • Critical criminology views crime as a function of social conflict and economic rivalry

  • It seeks to identify economic structures in society that control all humans

  • It rejects the notion that the law is designed to maintain a tranquil, fair society and that criminals are malevolent people who wish to trample on the rights of others

  • They consider the acts of racism, sexism, imperialism, unsafe working conditions, inadequate child care, substandard housing, pollution, and war- making as a tool of foreign policy, to be “true crimes.”

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Marxist Thought– Productive Forces and Productive Relations

  • Karl Marx focused his attention on the economic conditions perpetrated by the capitalists

  • He identified the economic structures in society that control all human relations

  • Production has two components:

    1. productive forces

    2. productive relations

  • He proposed the notion that unequal distribution of power and wealth produce crime

  • Crime develops as a result of social conflict

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Creating a Critical Criminology Relations

  • Social thinkers began to show how in our postindustrial, capitalist society the economic system invariably produces haves and have-nots.

  • Because economic competitiveness is the essence of capitalism, conflict increases and eventually destabilizes both social institutions and social groups.

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How Critical Criminologists Define Crime Relations

  • Crime is a political concept designed to protect the power and position of the upper classes at the expense of the poor

  • Criminals are products of the society and its economic system

  • To control crime, a society must remove the social conditions that promote crime

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How Critical Criminologists View The Cause of Crime Relations

  • The key crime-producing element of modern corporate capitalism is the effort to increase surplus value

  • To increase surplus value, workers can be made to toil harder for less pay

  • As the rate of surplus value increases, more people are displaced from productive relationships

  • Marginalization: as more people are placed outside the economic mainstream, a larger population is forced to live in areas conducive to crime

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Globalization Relations

  • The process of creating a global economy through transnational markets and political and legal systems

  • It began when large companies decided to establish themselves in foreign markets by adapting their products or services to the local culture

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Instrumental vs. Structural Theory Relations

  • Instrumental theorists view criminal law and the criminal justice system as instruments for controlling the poor, have-not members of society.

  • Structural theorists believe that the law is not the exclusive domain of the rich; rather, it is used to maintain the long-term interests of the capitalist system and control members of any class who threatens its existence.

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Research on Critical Criminology Relations

  • Critical thinkers believe that the research conducted by mainstream liberal and positivist criminologists is often designed to unmask weak, powerless members of society so they can be better dealt with by the legal system

  • Rarely use standard social science methodologies use to test their views, more likely to examine historical trends and patterns rather than surveys and numbers

  • Examples: racial profiling, police brutality, prosecution and sentencing disparities.

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Emerging Forms of Critical Criminology Relations

  • Left realism

  • Critical Feminist Theory

  • Peacemaking criminology

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Left Realism Relations

  • Approach that sees crime as a function of relative deprivation under capitalism and favors pragmatic, community-based crime prevention and control

  • Experiencing poverty in the midst of plenty creates discontent and breeds crime

  • Discontent plus lack of political solution equal crime

  • Community based efforts seem to hold the greatest promise of crime control

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Critical Feminist Theory Relations

  • Critical feminism: view gender inequality as stemming form the unequal power of men and women in a capitalist society.

  • Patriarchy system developed in which men’s work was valued and women’s work was devalued.

  • The dual exploitation of women within the household and in the labor market means that women produce far greater surplus value for capitalists than men.

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Power-Control Theory Relations

  • The view that gender differences in crime are a function of economic power and parental control

  • Girls are controlled more closely than boys in traditional male-dominated households and there is gender equity in contemporary egalitarian homes

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Peacemaking Criminology Relations

  • Approach that considers punitive crime control strategies to be counterproductive and favors the use of humanistic conflict resolution and mediation skills to prevent and control crime

  • Offers a new approach to control crime

  • Views the efforts of the state to punish and control as crime-encouraging rather than crime-discouraging

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Critical Theory and Public Policy Relations

  • Seek to reduce conflict and competition in society

  • If conflict and competition in society could somehow be reduced, it is possible that crime rates would fall

  • Reduce harsh punishment of offenders

  • Peacemakers look for ways to bring law violators back to the community

  • Has adopted nonviolent methods and applied them to what is known as restorative justice

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The Concept of Restorative Justice Relations

  • Using humanistic, non-punitive strategies to right wrongs and restore social harmony

  • Encompasses a variety of programs and practice

  • Requires that society address victim’s harms, and needs, holds offenders accountable to put right those harms, and involves victims, offenders, and communities in the process of healing

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The Process of Restoration Relations

  • Crime is an offense against human relationships

  • Victims and the community are central to justice processes

  • The offender has personal responsibility to the victims and to the community

  • The offender will develop improved competency and understanding

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Restoration Programs Relations

  • negotiation

  • mediation

  • consensus building

  • peacemaking

  • sentencing circles

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Restorative Justice: Society and Justice System Relations

  • Community

  • Schools

  • Police

  • Courts

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Balanced and Restorative Justice (BARJ) Relations

  • The justice system should give equal weight to:

    • Hold offenders accountability to victims,

    • Provide competency development for offenders in the system, and

    • Ensure community safety.

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Concerns about Restorative Justice Relations

  • Is it a political movement or a treatment process?

  • Must be wary of cultural and social differences

  • No single definition

  • Difficult task to balance the needs of offenders with those of the victims

  • Benefits may only work in the short term while ignoring long term treatment needs