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Values in criminology and community justice

Values in criminology and community justice

Malcolm Cowburn
Marian Duggan
Anne Robinson
Paul Senior
Copyright Date: 2013
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  • Book Info
    Values in criminology and community justice
    Book Description:

    The way we think about crime and the way that society responds to it are imbued with values that can determine what is considered important and what gets attention. Sometimes values that are claimed may not be the values expressed in practice, as we see in the multiple and confusing discourses about victims and offenders, punishment and protection, rights and responsibilities. This collection of writings considers values in crime theory, criminal justice and research practice, uncovering the many different 'sides' – to echo Howard Becker's famous phrase – that criminologists, policy makers and researchers take. It spans Marxist, postmodernist and feminist perspectives on criminology, analyses of the dynamics of race, gender and age, research methods and ethics, the working of the criminal justice system and engages with current debates about new challenges for criminology, such as the green movement and Islamophobia. This is a timely and thought-provoking collection which will be of interest to academics and students in criminology and criminal justice, and on professional courses, such as probation and youth justice practice.

    eISBN: 978-1-4473-0037-3
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-ii)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. iii-iv)
  3. A brief introduction
    (pp. v-vii)
    Malcolm Cowburn

    This book is about values; values in action in the making of theory, the shaping of research and the implementation of policies in practice. Robinson (2011, p 4) describes three usages of the word ‘value’:

    1. Used as a verb,to valuemeans to esteem or hold in regard.

    2.Valueas a noun refers to the worth, merit or importance placed on, for instance, a particular characteristic or quality.

    3.Valuesare also a set of normative beliefs or standards held by a social group.

    This book incorporates all of these usages. The first two usages point to estimations, mostly public estimations,...

  4. Notes on contributors
    (pp. viii-xiv)
  5. Section One: Values of criminological theories

    • [Section One: Introduction]
      (pp. 1-4)

      The first section of this book assesses ‘sides’ and values in relation to a selection of criminological theories that have come a long way from the early classical or positivistic schools of thought. The contributors in this section review, critique and evaluate what has been included and omitted from traditional criminological inquiry, placing a particular emphasis on, or arguing from, subordinated and overlooked perspectives. These chapters demonstrate some of the ‘sides’ that Becker’s (1967) article sought to address while also offering perspectives on newer or emergent areas in criminological theorising, indicating the ever-expanding nature of values within this discipline.


    • ONE Judging offenders: the moral implications of criminological theories
      (pp. 5-20)
      Simon Cottee

      This is fromAn intimate history of killing, Joanna Bourke’s controversial and unsettling account of military combat in the 20th century:

      The massacre had begun just after eight o’clock on the morning of 16 March 1968, when 105 American soldiers of Charlie Company, 11th Brigade of the American Division, entered the small village of Son My in the San Tinh District, Quang Ngai Province, on the north-eastern coast of South Vietnam near the South China Sea. By the time Calley and his men sat down to lunch, they had rounded up and slaughtered around 500 unarmed civilians. Within those few...

    • TWO Postmodernism and criminological thought: ‘Whose science? Whose knowledge?’
      (pp. 21-38)
      Liz Austen and Malcolm Cowburn

      In 1991, Sandra Harding published her seminal work on scientific inquiryWhose science? Whose knowledge? Thinking from women’s lives(Harding, 1991); this chapter borrows part of the title of her book to highlight the challenge to established forms of knowledge that is presented by postmodern thought. The challenge is epistemological and ethical. It involves re-examining the basis of criminological knowledge and how this impacts on the practices of criminal justice agencies. Key to this exploration is thesocial constructionof crime. From a postmodern perspective, crime, people who commit crimes, people who suffer as a result of crimes and the...

    • THREE Marxist criminology: whose side, which values?
      (pp. 39-56)
      David Moxon

      Howard Becker, in his famous article ‘Whose side are we on?’ (Becker, 1967), suggests that one possible way to avoid ‘taking sides’ in the research endeavour is to adopt a ‘third point of view’. Such a point of view is simply one that is different to those that are under scrutiny. However, for Becker, this also ultimately involves taking a side as it:

      would indeed make us neutral with respect to the two groups at hand, but would only mean that we had enlarged the scope of the political conflict to include a party not ordinarily brought in whose view...

    • FOUR A contemporary reflection on feminist criminology: whose side are we on?
      (pp. 57-76)
      Victoria Lavis and Tammi Walker

      This chapter critically considers the ways that the changing values of feminism have impacted upon its contribution to criminology. It draws upon Becker’s (1967) suggestion, revisited by Morris, Woodward and Peters (1998) and, more recently, by Liebling (2001) and Cohen (2011), that researchers should ask themselves whose ‘side’ they are taking when they conduct research. The question of ‘sides’, who takes them and when, forms the central theme of the chapter, as it mirrors the concerns raised by both modernist and postmodernist feminist researchers. These concerns relate not only to the value bases of research (Roman and Apple, 1990; Oakley,...

    • FIVE Bringing the boys back home: re-engendering criminology
      (pp. 77-92)
      Anthony Ellis and Maggie Wykes

      This chapter explores the price paid by the theoretical omission and/or obfuscation of men in work on crime and particularly work on violence. We focus on violence because although men dominate in most categories of offending, it is violence where masculinity is so obviously implicated and yet masculinity per se remains elusive within the vast literature of criminological treatises on violence. We write this chapter at a crucial point in history for the discipline. Recorded crime rates indicate that crime, particularly in the UK, has decreased in recent years, despite the onset of the worst economic recession in decades. Some...

    • SIX New ‘racisms’ and prejudices? The criminalisation of ‘Asian’
      (pp. 93-108)
      Sunita Toor

      Historically, discourses in the area of race and crime have focused on the criminalisation and criminality of Britain’s black communities, constructing a racialised ‘black’–‘white’ dichotomy. Other minority ethnic communities, such as those who identify as ‘Asian’, have been less subject to scrutiny. Two things have altered this terrain. First, in the era of late modernity, 21st-century Britain is a milieu of racial, ethnic and cultural hybridity, intersectionality and change. Emergent racisms, prejudices, folk devils and moral panics have transformed and widened racialised perspectives on crime to include other minority ethnic groups. Second, several events (both before and following the...

    • SEVEN The value(s) of cultural criminology
      (pp. 109-124)
      James Banks and David Moxon

      Concerned with crime, deviance, modes of social control and related phenomena, cultural criminology positions itself as a response to the abject failure of a mainstream criminology unprepared for the arrival of late modernity (Ferrell et al, 2008). Critical of approaches dominated by ill-developed theory, deterministic methods and statistical testing, cultural criminology has sought to recreate a sociologically inspired criminology that exposes the structures, representations and power relations that underpin crime, inequality and criminal justice. A heady mix of a variety of sociological and criminological traditions, phenomenology, naturalism, interactionism, critical criminology, subcultural theory and postmodern thought constitute and animate this kaleidoscope....

    • EIGHT Justifying ‘green’ criminology: values and ‘taking sides’ in an ecologically informed social science
      (pp. 125-142)
      Gary R. Potter

      The question ‘Whose side are we on?’ (Becker, 1967) is arguably more fundamental and more nuanced for green criminology than elsewhere in the study of crime. More nuanced because green criminology focuses on environmental problems, therefore considering conflicts between humanity and nature alongside the dimensions of social conflict normally implicated in the question. More fundamental because the consideration of value positions inherent in the question is essential to the very definition of green criminology, shaping not only the remit of the field and the approaches taken within it, but also its relationships with the parent subject ‘criminology’ and the politically...

  6. Section Two: Values in criminal justice

    • [Section Two: Introduction]
      (pp. 143-146)

      These chapters move on to consider the values embedded in criminal justice practices and in the organisational or political structures that help shape them. The attempt is not to be exhaustive, but to provide comment on major areas of criminal justice and penal policy. The authors of the first five chapters highlight tensions and barriers, but also look for possibilities and potential to develop policy and practice so that values and principles are more transparent and more open to healthy and constructive challenge. The final two consider issues of justice and inherent values more broadly, in the one case, exploring...

    • NINE A moral in the story? Virtues, values and desistance from crime
      (pp. 147-164)
      Fergus McNeill and Stephen Farrall

      In this chapter, we draw on theories of desistance and research into desistance to argue that ceasing to offend is a process that involves the development of the motivation, capacity and opportunities to live well, in both a moral and a prudential sense. We present an argument that supporting people to desist from crime is likely to require forms and styles of penal practice that model ways of being and becoming ‘good’, and that central to such practice are questions of the legitimacy of criminal justice processes and of the moral performance of practitioners. In developing these arguments, our aim...

    • TEN The value of values in probation practice?
      (pp. 165-186)
      Jean Henderson

      Probation values have proved somewhat elusive in recent years. While the National Offender Management Service (NOMS) and Probation Trusts have values statements, it is evident that there has been limited discussion of what they mean for practice. The key question posed in this chapter is what value a clear understanding of a professional value base for practice and the different strands to the values debate have in supporting the professional development of probation practitioners. Here, the particular focus is on practitioners undertaking the qualifying programmes for probation officers (often now termed ‘offender managers’ [OMs]).

      The theme running throughout the chapters...

    • ELEVEN Developments in police education in England and Wales: values, culture and ‘common-sense’ policing
      (pp. 187-206)
      Craig Paterson and Ed Pollock

      The dominant reform agenda of the police service in England and Wales for the last three decades has revolved around the re-emergence of community policing and a languorous cultural shift from ‘rules’ to ‘values’ (Clark, 2005). At the heart of this shift is conflict between a reflective emphasis on the underpinning ‘values’ of policing and a pragmatic emphasis on the common-sense ‘craft’ of police work. This presents challenges for training and education and, for police officers, raises the question, ‘Whose side are we on?’. Attempts to inculcate more flexible thinking about values, bringing police officers closer to the communities they...

    • TWELVE Race, religion and human rights: valuable lessons from prison
      (pp. 207-222)
      Muzammil Quraishi

      This chapter charts the complex ways in which counter-racism and multi-faith policies have addressed (or rather managed) the discrimination perceived and experienced by Muslim prisoners. In the area of interpreting and articulating religious rights, the example of Muslim prisoners allows discussion of the significance of Islamic Law (shar’iah) for secular societies with established Muslim populations. This discussion is particularly pertinent in the UK following the recent establishment of civilshar’iahcourts in a number of British cities by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal organisation based upon powers under the Arbitration Act 1996.

      The relatively recent rise in the number of Muslim...

    • THIRTEEN The public–private divide: which side is criminal justice on?
      (pp. 223-238)
      Stephen Riley

      The division between ‘public’ and ‘private’ is fundamental to criminal law and a focus of criminal justice policy debate. This chapter argues that the division should be understood as an ongoing social process to which criminal justice contributes, rather than as something demarking defined spaces or static roles. Criminal justice plays a critical role in this process, a process of drawing proper limits to the power of the state, including the state’s ability to intrude into the personal sphere. It will be argued that maintaining a division between public and private should be seen as an intrinsically valuable project, one...

    • FOURTEEN Working with victims: values and validations
      (pp. 239-254)
      Marian Duggan

      Notions of victimisation in the UK have transformed in the past two decades. Once largely overlooked, the victim is now a far more strategic stakeholder in the British criminal justice system (CJS), inspiring a host of academic research, government policies and reports into best practice and victim satisfaction (Rock, 2002; Goodey, 2004). Myriad forms of victimisation have been officially recognised through new laws, particularly with regards to identity prejudice. The socially constructed nature of identity and its corresponding impact on legal engagement with victims and offenders provides an ample site for investigation to assess how value and validation shape the...

    • FIFTEEN Money as the measure of man: values and value in the politics of reparation
      (pp. 255-272)
      Claire Moon

      This chapter addresses both ‘values’ and ‘value’ in reconciliatory political practices and looks in particular at the significance and meaning of reparative justice values and practices. These are often claimed to service the aims of political reconciliation, where reckoning with past state crimes is made central to transitions from authoritarianism to more democratic political orders, such as in Argentina, Chile and South Africa. This chapter pays particular attention to the practice of granting compensation to victims of atrocities in order to investigate and critique both ‘values’ – that is, some of the normative dimensions of reconciliation – and the idea...

  7. Section Three: Values in research, policy and practice

    • [Section Three: Introduction]
      (pp. 273-276)

      This final section responds to issues of values, the hierarchy of credibility and the structural positioning of superordinates and subordinates (Becker, 1967) in producing ethically defensible research, policy and practice. Any attempt to produce evidence-based policy and practice is bounded by disputes that occur at all levels of engagement. The selection of research method, the foregrounding of particular policy priorities, subject often to the whim of changing government ministers, and the appropriateness of engagement bounded by ethical probity must all be explored in explicating the direction of travel.

      In Chapter Sixteen Kevin Wong explores the implications for policy and practice...

    • SIXTEEN The Emperor’s new clothes: can Big Society deliver criminal justice?
      (pp. 277-294)
      Kevin Wong

      You can call it liberalism. You can call it empowerment. You can call it freedom. You can call it responsibility. I call it the ‘Big Society’. (David Cameron, 2010)

      It is reported that David Cameron first used the term ‘Big Society’¹ on the eve of the launch of the Conservative Party manifesto in 2010. This was before the general election that saw the establishment of the first Coalition government (in this case, between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats) since the Second World War.

      While there are conflicting views on what Big Society is, the one point on which commentators, politicians (exemplified...

    • SEVENTEEN What’s valuable, what’s valued in today’s youth justice?
      (pp. 295-312)
      Anne Robinson

      New Labour, taking office in 1997, lost no time in setting out its plans for reform of the youth justice system (YJS) in England and Wales. Following the critical report,Misspent youth(Audit Commission, 1996), theNo more excusesWhite Paper (Home Office, 1997) expressed dissatisfaction that the intervention offered to young people offending, or at risk of offending, was too little, too late or too ineffectual. The subsequent Crime and Disorder Act 1998 established a primary aim for the YJS of prevention of offending by children and young people, seeking to give coherence to a disparate range of agencies...

    • EIGHTEEN Economic values and evidence: evaluating criminal justice policy
      (pp. 313-328)
      Kevin Albertson, Katherine Albertson, Chris Fox and Dan Ellingworth

      The UK government is committed to reducing the costs of criminal justice. Specifically they aim to:

      Reform the sentencing framework so that it both punishes the guilty and rehabilitates offenders more effectively. These reforms will stem the unsustainable rise in the UK prison population. Proposals will be published in a Green Paper, and will include the use of tough community penalties where they are more effective than short prison sentences; using restorative justice; and paying private and voluntary providers by results for delivering reductions in reoffending. (HM Treasury, 2010, p 55)

      This represents an explicit recognition of the budgetary and...

    • NINETEEN Reflections on values and ethics in narrative inquiry with (ex-)offenders
      (pp. 329-342)
      Paula Hamilton and Katherine Albertson

      This chapter reflects upon value and ethical issues raised by narrative inquiry within criminological research, particularly in its use with vulnerable and marginalised populations, in this case, (ex-)offenders. Drawing upon experiences of undertaking two desistance-focused research projects, we explore the contours of debates around taking ‘sides’, sympathy, bias and values in narrative inquiry in this area, as well as the ethical issues relating to consent, ownership and interpretive authority raised by its use.

      The field of narrative inquiry is complex and diverse. Researchers employ a number of different approaches, strategies and methods, which reflect subtle differences in ontological and epistemological...

    • TWENTY Working with different values: extremism, hate and sex crimes
      (pp. 343-358)
      Malcolm Cowburn, Marian Duggan and Ed Pollock

      This chapter addresses dilemmas and conflicts in research with people who hold different opinions and values to the researcher. The chapter draws on three research experiences: a female researcher directly and indirectly interacting with members of a recognised group targeted for identity-based victimisation who do not necessarily identify as ‘victims’; a male researcher indirectly interacting with people of undisclosed or ‘virtual’ identities demonstrating extremist ideologies; and a male researcher directly interacting with convicted male sexual offenders. There is a tension in each case between researcher standpoint (interpretive framework) and research participant standpoint. In each case, the viewpoint of the research...

    • TWENTY-ONE Value for money? The politics of contract research
      (pp. 359-380)
      Paul Senior

      In research contracts, the relationship between funders, those being evaluated and commissioned researchers is a complex one and differentially impacts upon the outcome of research according to the focus, and sometimes whims, of the funder, the reaction of those sites subject to the research, the service users, the policy context, and the perspectives and theories of change of the researchers themselves. It is a complex and mixed picture with lots of pinch points where the objectivity of the research process may be compromised (Walters, 2003a, 2003b, 2005).

      Arguably, all commissioned research potentially involves a contract between the funder and the...

  8. Index
    (pp. 381-394)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 395-395)