TOWARD PLURALISM: THE EMERGENCE OF DEVIANT MINORITIES
A central theme in this book -- that the law and criminal justice system should not be used to enforce private morality -- has come to be widely shared among those who study and deal with deviance and social problems. When we attempt to regulate private behavior, be it sex practices, drug use, alcohol, or gambling, we come very close to regulating life styles, the ways people are; and when we pass laws against certain ways of life, we create deviant minorities. As minorities they will tend toward the extremes of behavior that minority status brings: crime as a means of livelihood, retaliatory violence, mental disorder, disease, and suicide. When we penalize certain ways of life, we drive the practitioners of these ways to extremes.
There are now two parallel trends away from this repressive treatment of deviant minorities. One in government, particularly at