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Future Directions in Criminology. “you can never plan the future by the past” – Edmund Burke (1729-1797). Introduction. Criminology’s attempt to bridge theory and practice Post-positivism and post-modernism, and the discipline in a state of flux ? Can we merge criminal justice and criminology

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Future directions in criminology l.jpg

Future Directions in Criminology

“you can never plan the future by the past” – Edmund Burke (1729-1797)

Introduction l.jpg

  • Criminology’s attempt to bridge theory and practice

  • Post-positivism and post-modernism, and the discipline in a state of flux

  • ? Can we merge criminal justice and criminology

  • Continuing challenge of being relative and evolutive

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  • Frame of Reference

  • Ultimate objective “controlology”

    • Utilitarian principles

  • FOUR approaches:

    • conservative

    • Liberal

    • Radical

    • Integrated and interdisciplinary

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  • Conservative approach:

  • Social control over individual freedoms, policing, just deserts, focus on conventional crime…

  • ? Not ‘humanistic’

  • Greater emphasis in political and power-based issues

  • Can law and order control crime?

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  • Liberal approach:

  • Crime the product of social and economic circumstances, lack of opportunities, emphasize treatment and rehabilitation…

  • Although popular in recent years only marginally successful

  • Radical approach:

  • Reliance on unofficial sources, role of media and competing interest groups, power of capitalism, shift from offender to system…

  • Short on solutions but helps to draw attention to broader issues

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  • Interdisciplinary:

  • Crime a product of human behaviour… individual and his/her environment, ‘soft-determinism’,

  • Attempt to reconcile differences between C, L, and R approaches

  • Bridge current fragmentation

  • BUT ‘growing pains’

  • Can we move from legalistic tohumanistic-based discipline?

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Criminology and Prediction

  • The price of prediction… risky

  • Complexity of human behaviour

  • ? Need for fundamental paradigm

    And theoretical shifts

  • Can an integrated and interdisciplinary offer a clearer direction?

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Comparative Criminology

  • Practicalities being overcome

    • Advances in technology and methodology

  • Fattah and our ‘provincial attitudes’ slow to fade

  • Transnational crimes and price of globalization

  • Move beyond descriptive to a theoretical framework

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  • “Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice” and Interpol examples of international co-operation

  • Justification:

    • Experience of others;

    • Broaden our understanding; and

    • International co-operation to common concerns

  • Will comparative criminology play a primary role in the future?

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The Knowledge Explosion Justice” and Interpol examples of international co-operation

  • An expansive discipline…

    “criminological enterprise”

  • Number of disciplines with

    vested interest growing

  • Growing number of theories

  • Number of textbooks (CDN) and journals

  • Relative soundness of the discipline

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  • The disciplines ‘growth’ has NOT been matched by a decrease in crime rates!

  • Is there a need for a paradigm shift?

  • Causes of crime and criminality linked to multicausality…integrated and interdisciplinary

    The Future of Crime

  • Automobiles vs. credit cards… and the role of technology and opportunity for ‘new’ crimes

  • E.g.: debit cards and ‘crime wave’

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  • Possible future trends…. decrease in crime rates!

    • Computer based crimes

    • International sex trade, organ trade, smuggling of illegal foreigners

    • Transnationally based organized crime

    • Transnational corporate crime

    • International terrorism, money laundering,…

  • Will our current theories suffice to explain the new trends/

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Social Control: Prevention or Punishment decrease in crime rates!

  • Crime costs up; victim expenses up; and incarceration up… need for cost-effective strategies

  • Figure 14-1 “what works”

    • Communities: community-based mentoring

    • Family-based prevention: early infant & pre-school programs

    • School-based programs: innovative programs

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  • Importance of multiple risk factors

  • Developmental pathways

  • Opportunity reduction and social development

    • Primary vs. secondary vs. tertiary prevention

  • Bridging theory and practice… e.g., shaming, restorative justice, etc.

  • Criminology and criminal law l.jpg
    Criminology and Criminal Law decrease in crime rates!

    • Definition of crime dependent on its legal definition

    • How did criminal law evolve and how will it evolve?

    • Criminal law minimal impact on curbing crime

    • Does the law inflate crime statistics?

    • We need to rethink the role of law in crime prevention

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    Expanding the Scope of Criminology decrease in crime rates!

    • Role of science and technology vs. the role of criminal law

    • Expanding opportunities

    • Crime: The Elusive Enigma

    • Crime waves “mental filters through which social issues are filtered”

    • Must learn to discern myths from reality

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    • Restorative Justice decrease in crime rates!

    • An answer to punishment?

    • Shift from moral to social responsibility… respect ALL parties

    • An old concept in new attire!? Will it work this time?


    • “…the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and the unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind”, and search for spiritual growth.

    • Constructive social policy with a global social context

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    … the gauntlet before you decrease in crime rates!