Social control, discipline and regulation
Many more serious crimes such as large scale tax evasion which costs the government a lot of money, are often overlooked and are seldom prosecuted. Over time some laws which are no longer relevant are disseminated and other acts become criminals. These change with new governments and societal and culture changes. In 1967 the Sexual Offences Act was introduced which made it illegal in Britain for men of any age to have consensual sex together. Over time society has come to accept gay relationships and so in turn the law surrounding gay couples has also relaxed.
In 2005 civil partnerships were introduced to give gay couples similar rights to married couples and the current government Is looking at making gay marriages legal. If deviant behavior seems to becoming more common, such as people carrying weapons then new legislations are put in place or existing legislations are updated and more harsh penalties are put in place to deter criminals and reduce crimes and visitation. Travis Hirsh (1969) through his social bond theory tries to explain why some people don’t commit crime. He argues the question Why do they do it? Is not a question the control theory is signed to answer.
The important question he says is Why don’t we do it? . Hirsh identified four main characteristics or social bonds which explain conformity. The more a person features these characteristics the less likely they are to become deviant or criminal. Attachment to family and friends he seen as the most Important factor In his social bond theory, this influence supports our norms, values and conscience. If we did not care about how we were perceived by our family and friends then we would be free to act deviant. Commitment to achievement Is another actor, this refers to how much effort, time and money a person puts into a particular activity.
A person such as a doctor who has spent a lot of time, effort and money on educating themselves is less likely to become deviant because a criminal record could result in them losing their job. Involvement in conventional activities leaves a person with less time to think about or get involved in deviant activities. Belief refers to the strength of our commitment to a particular belief. There are variations in our beliefs; the less a person believes he should follow the rules the more likely he is to elate them. A criticism of Hirer’s work would be to ask why people commit crime.
This assumes that law abiding behavior is normal and that the majority of people do not commit crimes. In some sub cultures deviant behavior is the norm, children born Into this kind of culture and grow up breaking the law because It Is normal to them. Walsh does not explain this kind of behavior. When crimes are committed the judicial system uses different forms of punishment or social control. This is used to law. Harsh forms of social control are imprisonment or even death in some countries. A softer form of social control is things like fines and community service.
In Michel Faculty’s book, Discipline and Punishment, he looks at the birth of the prison and how the penal system has changed from. In the 17th century the forms of punishment were brutal public tortures, humiliations, hangings and executions which focused on hurting the physical body. This triggered many riots in sympathy and support for the convict; the public were against these cruel methods of punishment which were also inconsistent. Faculty’s believes this form of punishment was to show the power of the state rather than to act as deterrence.
Prisons were first introduced in the 18th century as a result of the public protests for punishment without torture. Prisons focused punishment on the souls and minds of prisoners as the mind was now seen as more valuable and the body was seen as Just a machine controlled by the mind. This new form of discipline and punishment was able to control and manage the prisoner at all times rather than short bursts of bodily torture which was previously used. The prison became more than a place where offenders were deprived and became a place where discipline could be instilled.
Faculty saw this as abuse of power, its main purpose would have been, an attempt to reform the criminal in the hope that upon his release he would be less likely to refined and become a contributing member of society. Faculty believes that detention causes recidivism; and states, “those leaving prison have more chance of going back to it; a very high proportion, up to 38 per cent of inmates were convicted again” . If prisons worked then they would be empty. Jeremy Beneath a utilitarian philosopher was interested in the design of prisons. He designed a circular prison which he called the Pontific.
It had a central tower so prison officers had a 360 view and could see into all of the cells at all times. The inmates could not see into the central tower and so never knew if they were being watched. The exact blueprint was never built but it did have some impact on how future prisons were designed. Faculty said that constant supervision and forced discipline broke the will of the criminal and made him into a ‘docile body which is easily controlled by people in authority. This was then ideal for the new economics, politics and warfare of modern industrial society.
It enslaves us to a life of government controlled discipline. Critiques of Faculty have focused mainly on his ideas of struggle for self-freedom from the disciplines of society, believing that people should be unique individuals and be their true self. He does not explain this in depth nor does he explain how it fits in with society. Edward W Said states: other critics of Faculty argue he did not go in depth when explaining the struggle between individuality and society. Faculty did not give a purpose for the struggle or a goal to be obtained. Why should complete individuality be the ultimate purpose in life? For Faculty there seems to be no focal mint, but rather an endless network of relations” (Ho, 1986: 55). If a person were to believe Faculty’s idea then following any rule of society would be submitting to the discipline of society. The anti-institutional consensus of the sass’s refers to a cultural movement that developed in the United States and England. The baby boom children from the sass’s were growing up in the sass’s. The growing consciousness of a younger generation may have led to a shift in perspectives on societal wrongdoings. Race relations, women’s rights and differing interpretations of the American Dream.
People questioned the legitimacy of the state and started to challenge authority, this resulted in boycotts, marches, protests, sit-ins and riots. Along with drug use and sexual liberation, criminality rocketed. The role of women as full time homemakers in industrial society was challenged in 1963, giving way to the women’s movement and influencing a second wave in feminism. The availability of birth control was the foundation of the sexual liberation. The idea of ‘recreational sex’ without the threat of unwanted pregnancies changed society as it allowed men a women greater freedom outside traditional marriage.
With this change in attitude, the amount of children born outside wedlock in the I-J rose from 8% in 1971 to nearly 45 % in 2007 . This counterculture of the sass’s influenced Governments to rethink criminal acts. There were changes in human rights and laws were put in place to tackle discrimination between men and women. From 1967 abortion became legal, and women became able to divorce their husbands when the Divorce Reform Act came into force in 1969. John Breathiest, an Australian criminologist recognizes that the current criminal justice system labels and astigmatisms offenders, making crime problems worse.
He looks at the relationship between crime and social reactions in his book Crime, Shame and Reintegration. He believes a restorative Justice system to be more effective than a punitive Justice system which enables offenders and victims to come together. He suggests the key to crime control is cultural shaming and making the offender feel remorse for what he has done. Breathiest identifies two types of shaming. Disintegrative shaming is where the offender is stigmatize and excluded from society, becoming labeled along with his behavior.
Reintegrating shaming is where criminal behavior is condemned rather than the offender. He is kept within society and is shown forgiveness through words or gestures. Breathiest argues that crime rates are higher in places where disintegrative shaming is used. His hypothesis is that in societies where there is a strong commitment to place collective interests over individual interest there are stronger incentives for people to conform and lower crime rates. He uses the example of Japan which is highly urbanites and densely populated; we would assume that crime rates would be high.
Arrest rates are high UT prosecution rates are low. Cultural factors play an important role, honor and pride within Japanese families is very important so bringing shame upon the family is a deterrent to committing crimes. These traditions date back to the Samurai Warriors who would fall upon their own swords (Hair Kari) to prevent bringing shame upon their families. Japanese parents often commit suicide when their children commit serious crimes as they cannot cope with the shame and feel partly responsible. It is hard to compare the I-J with societies such as Japan which is a more equal society and less diverse.
In the I-J the Home Office gave legislative endorsement to these ideas in 1998 Crime and Disorder Act and the 1999 Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act reflecting the definition of restorative Justice as restoration, reintegration and responsibility . All kinds of initiatives that attempt to bring the victim and the offender together now carries the label ‘restorative’. Rock (1990) described the restorative system as a ‘dead duck so it is interesting to reflect upon the process whereby it gained its current status. Daly (2002) discusses in detail the that the current punitive Justice system to be ineffective.
Prisons in England are currently close to full capacity, if they were effective they would be empty. Inmates are reportedly more likely to become recidivists and commit new crimes that they have learnt from other inmates. This causes greater problems for the Government when it comes to tackling crime. I believe that Michel Faculty is right in the sense that imprisonment, along with constant supervision and discipline is an abuse of power. John Barbiturate’s work on a restorative Justice system could be beneficial to some offenders, victims and more importantly society as a whole.