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February 27, 2009

Useful reading for technocorrections fans (or foes)

As I have noted in prior posts (many linked here), the future of crime and punishment will include all sort of technocorrections for economic reasons if not for lots of others.  Thus, it is important for both theorists and practitioners to be thinking proactively now about the future of technology and criminal punishment, whether one is a fan or foe of technocorrections.  Such thinking can be aided by this interesting book chapter appearing on SSRN, titled "Crime Control Technologies: Towards an Analytical Framework and Research Agenda." Here is the abstract:

The substantive focus of this chapter — crime control technologies — can be stated simply enough, but this simplicity is deceptive for several reasons.  Firstly, technology — which we define as the application of scientific knowledge, materials, techniques, systems, methods of organisation and the use of electronic and mechanical devices — is ubiquitous in contemporary criminal justice, as it is in many other spheres of human activity. Therefore the range of types of technical devices that we might write about is extremely wide.  Secondly, as Marx suggests, throughout history crime control has been a motor for technological innovation in many apparently unrelated areas; therefore the boundaries of the field are fuzzy.  Thirdly, the range of technological applications in the criminological field is incredibly wide and includes the management and communication of information, physical defence against crime, surveillance, public order maintenance, crime prevention and detection, criminal justice administration, and punishment.

We have, it seems, carved out an impossibly wide brief and can do little more here than to provide a descriptive overview of the technological applications studied by criminologists, to describe the legal framework within which crime control technologies are developing, to raise some questions about the ways in which technology is changing the criminal justice system as a system and make some suggestions for inter-disciplinary research.

February 27, 2009 at 10:10 AM | Permalink

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