The Crime Conundrum: Essays on Criminal Justice

By Lawrence M. Friedman; George Fisher | Go to book overview

More ominously, crime and fear of crime continue to drive deeper levels of suburban isolationism. The emerging metropolitan form, with its combination of collapsed urban center and sprawling suburban edge city, with its overlays of race and demonization, constitutes a direct challenge to the ideal of democratic nationhood. 51

We cannot wish our real urban problems away, but we can make real choices among different orientations toward managing them. Crime will remain an important urban problem for a long time to come no matter what we do about it. But governing through crime reproduces the mentalities and strategies that have helped bring us to this impasse. With the right political choices, we could begin to change those mentalities and strategies tomorrow.


Notes
1.
For a defense of the proposition that the older framework is still a useful one with respect to penal practices, see David Garland, Punishment and Welfare: A History of Penal Strategies ( Brookfield, Vt.: Gower, 1985), pp. 3-35.
2.
See Emile Durkheim, The Division of Labor in Society, English edition, George Simpson , trans. ( New York: Free Press, 1933; originally published 1893).
3.
Kai T. Erikson, Wayward Puritans: A Study in the Sociology of Deviance ( New York: John Wiley and Sons, 1966), pp. 3-5, 8, 26.
4.
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, Alan Sheridan, trans. ( New York: Vintage, 1979), pp. 73-103.
5.
Norbert Elias, The Civilizing Process: The History of Manners ( New York: Urizen, 1978), pp. 191-205; Roger Lane, Policing the City: Boston, 1822-1885 ( Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1967), pp. 220-29; Eric H. Monkkonen, "A Disorderly People? Urban Order in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries", in Journal of American History, Vol. 68, No. 3, December 1981, pp. 539-59.
6.
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics ( Washington, D.C., 1996), p. 4.
7.
Marc Mauer, Americans Behind Bars: The International Use of Incarceration ( Washington, D.C.: The Sentencing Project, 1995), p. 7.
8.
Ibid.
9.
It is true that many advanced industrial societies, and not just the United States, have been plagued by crime. What sets the United States apart is the obsessive focus on the problem of punishment.
10.
Michel Foucault, "The Subject and Power", in Hubert L. Dreyfus and Paul Rabinow , eds., Michel Foucault: Beyond Structuralism and Hermeneutics ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1982), p. 220.
11.
Nikolas Rose elaborates on Foucault's definition of government as "a certain way of striving to reach social and political ends by acting in a calculating manner upon the forces, activities and relations of the individuals that constitute a population." Nikolas Rose, Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self

-185-

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