Against Rehabilitation; For Reparitive Justice

Carlen, Pat (2013) Against Rehabilitation; For Reparitive Justice. In Carrington, Kerry, Ball, Matthew, O'Brien, Erin, & Tauri, Juan (Eds.) Crime, Justice and Social Democracy : International Perspectives. Palgrave MacMillan, United Kingdom, pp. 89-104.

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Abstract

The difficulties of re-imagining the possible relationships between crime and justice in capitalist societies, and imagining the possible meanings of democracy in societies characterised by gross inequalities of knowledge, and exclusion of the majority from political decisions are well known. One such difficulty stems from the impossible necessity of maintaining stances of both constant reform and constant critique (see Carlen, 2012). Confronted with economic and cultural inequalities which routinely deny ideals of justice and democracy, there can be a temptation to suppress (or bracket-off) troubling knowledge of criminal justice's and democracy's maligned underbellies and instead talk 'as if' criminal justice's ideal play of governance is always and already realised in its rhetoric. In some senses, this 'as if' talk is aspirational and it is difficult to see how it could be otherwise if more just conceptions of criminal justice and more democratic forms of democracy are to be conceived. However, when, as often happens, aspirational criminal justice concepts become routinised and acted upon as if they can be realised without fundamental social change, they become penal imaginaries, part of a taken-for-granted ideological baggage which, because it is taken-for-granted, obstructs critique (see Carlen, 2008). One such penal imaginary is the concept of rehabilitation, a concept which has a long history of justifying almost every kind of non-lethal response to lawbreaking and which is currently being reborn yet again in theories of criminal desistance and anti-prison campaigns as well as in the more invidious rehabilitation industry with its sales of programmes for cognitive reform.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 65417
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: rehabilitation, reparative justice
ISBN: 9781137008688
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Theory (160806)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Crime & Justice Research Centre
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Schools > School of Justice
Deposited On: 17 Dec 2013 02:17
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2016 15:53

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