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 Continuing challenge of being relative and evolutive
Frame of Reference Ultimate objective “controlology” Utilitarian principles FOUR approaches: conservative Liberal Radical Integrated and interdisciplinary
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?
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
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 to humanistic-based discipline?
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?
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
“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?
The Knowledge Explosion 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
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’
Possible future trends…. 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/
Social Control: Prevention or Punishment 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
Policing: presence at “hot spots’ CJS: rehabilitation 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 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
Expanding the Scope of Criminology 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
Restorative Justice An answer to punishment? Shift from moral to social responsibility… respect ALL parties An old concept in new attire!? Will it work this time? SUMMARY “…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