Posts Tagged ‘discipline and punish’

Light reading at the laundromat

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“Prisoner work camps run in military style under study by N.S.,” The Globe and Mail. October 13, 1983. Page 10.

SYDNEY, N.S. – SYDNEY, N.S. (CP) – Most people convicted in Nova Scotia courts lack discipline, pride and motivation and those who aren’t dangerous would benefit from work camps run in army fashion, Attorney-General Harry How said yesterday.

Mr. How said his department will consider the idea of work camps for convicts when it takes over the operation of correctional centres from municipalities next year.

The minister told delegates to the annual conference of the Atlantic Provinces Criminology and Corrections Association that jailing “the disadvantaged person who turned to crime” brings him in touch with dangerous criminals who are likely to be the worst influence.

But probation is not the answer either, Mr. How said, because “they would be going back to the same underdisciplined and unmotivating environment that got them into trouble in the first place.” In 1979, he recommended developing a special corps of the Canadian Forces for non-dangerous criminals, but the Defence Department did not like the idea. “Some said it would reflect badly on the armed services,” the minister recalled.

Mr. How said he still believes the idea is a good one and if it cannot be implemented at the national level he will pursue it in Nova Scotia. “We have to motivate people and we have to give them the vision without which they would perish. ’‘These people aren’t bad. These people need somebody, some mechanism, or some program to give them a new sense of worth and a new sense of motivation.” Mr. How said the program could be run by a former army officer who would give criminals the disclipline and physical work they need to develop strong bodies. High school and trades teachers would be available to “excite their minds.” The program could develop projects in forestry, park development and the cutting of fuel wood for senior citizens, but would not intrude on the regular job market, Mr. How said.

Dennis Finlay, a spokesman for the Correctional Services Canada, said he knew of no one in the federal department developing a similar program of work camps.

But Mr. Finlay noted that the federal service already has forestry camps in Nova Scotia for inmates and is looking at eventually setting up an isolated penal community, which he said may be modelled on an island penal community in Mexico.

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“It became increasingly apparent that the continuing problems of imprisonment – its failure to deter, to reform, to reduce criminality, etc. – were characteristic of the prison itself and not merely accidents of a flawed administration.”

– David Garland, Punishment and Welfare: A History of Penal Strategies. Aldershot: Gower, 1985. p. 60.

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The New Penology – INNOVATIONS

“Our description may seem to imply the onset of a reactive age in which
penal managers strive to manage populations of marginal citizens with no
concomitant effort toward integration into mainstream society. This may
seem hard to square with the myriad new and innovative technologies introduced
over the past decade. Indeed the media, which for years have portrayed
the correctional system as a failure, have recently enthusiastically
reported on these innovations: boot camps, electronic surveillance, high
security “campuses” for drug users, house arrest, intensive parole and probation,
and drug treatment programs. 

Although some of the new proposals are presented in terms of the “old
penology” and emphasize individuals, normalization, and rehabilitation, it is
risky to come to any firm conviction about how these innovations will turn
out. If historians of punishment have provided any clear lessons, it is that
reforms evolve in ways quite different from the aims of their proponents. Thus, we wonder if these most recent
innovations won’t be recast in the terms outlined in this paper. Many of these
innovations are compatible with the imperatives of the new penology, that is,
managing a permanently dangerous population while maintaining the system
at a minimum cost. 

One of the current innovations most in vogue with the press and politicians
are correctional “boot camps.” These are minimum security custodial facilities,
usually for youthful first offenders, designed on the model of a training
center for military personnel, complete with barracks, physical exercise, and
tough drill sergeants. Boot camps are portrayed as providing discipline and
pride to young offenders brought up in the unrestrained culture of poverty (as
though physical fitness could fill the gap left by the weakening of families,
schools, neighborhoods, and other social organizations in the inner city). 

The camps borrow explicitly from a military model of discipline, which has
influenced penality from at least the eighteenth century – 

the prison borrowed from the earlier innovations in the organization of spaces and bodies undertaken by the most advanced European military forces.   No doubt the
image of inmates smartly dressed in uniforms performing drills and calisthenics
appeals to long-standing ideals of order in post-Enlightenment culture.
But in its proposed application to corrections, the military model is even less
appropriate now than when it was rejected in the nineteenth century; indeed,
today’s boot camps are more a simulation of discipline than the real thing.  

In the nineteenth century the military model was superseded by another model of discipline, the factory. Inmates were controlled by making them
work at hard industrial labor. It was
assumed that forced labor would inculcate in offenders the discipline required
of factory laborers, so that they might earn their keep while in custody and
join the ranks of the usefully employed when released. One can argue that
this model did not work very well, but at least it was coherent. The model of
discipline through labor suited our capitalist democracy in a way the model
of a militarized citizenry did not. 

The recent decline of employment opportunities among the populations of
urban poor most at risk for conventional crime involvement has left the applicability
of industrial discipline in doubt. But the substitution of the boot
camp for vocational training is even less plausible. Even if the typical 90-day
regime of training envisioned by proponents of boot camps is effective in
reorienting its subjects, at best it can only produce soldiers without a company
to join. Indeed, the grim vision of the effect of boot camp is that it will
be effective for those who will subsequently put their lessons of discipline and
organization to use in street gangs and drug distribution networks. However,
despite the earnestness with which the boot camp metaphor is touted, we
suspect that the camps will be little more than holding pens for managing a
short-term, mid-range risk population.” 

– Malcolm M. Feeley & Jonathan Simon, “The New Penology: Notes on the Emerging Strategy of Corrections and Its Implications.” 30 Criminology 449 (1992), pp. 463-464.

Image is: “Inmates jog laps aound their barracks They are in a High Impact Incarceration Program at Rikers Island, mid-1990s.

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“Wish for Freedom Explanation Given For Boy’s Escape,” Toronto Globe. September 30, 1933. Page 11.

No Cause for Discontent at Mimico Industrial School, Is Report

An explanation of the esape of more than a score of boys from the Mimico Industrial School recently was given to the Board of the Industrial Schools Association when it met in City Hall yesterday. The explanation was provided in a written report by Superintendent W. G. Green.

‘In view of the recent newspaper publicity concerned escapes, a few words of explanation should be givem.’ said Mr. Green. ‘A careful examination of the returned boys revealed no general or specific cause for discontent beyond the usual psychological yearning for freedom which is natural to boys held under the necessary restraint.

‘Perhaps the new atmosphere tending more and more to the honor system is a contributory cause, especially in the case of boys whose outlook in life is as yet still in the wrong direction. The fact that discipline is being tightened in the striving toward self-discipline has led boys who have particularly suffered from lack of home discipline to break away.’

Superintendent Green’s report was accepted without comment by the board, after which it adjourned its meeting. The Superintendent reported that in thirty-eight recent committals to the Victoria Industrial School three boys were found to possess superior intelligence and twenty boys were classified as having normal intelligence. 

In her report on the Alexandra School for Girls, Miss K. W. Brooking, Superintendent, stated that eleven girls had been placed in employment and had been returned during the three-month period. Five girls did not measure up to requirements of employers, two had been returned because conditions were unsatisfactory, and four were forced back to the institution because the people had taken them could not pay wages.

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“Fugitive’s Loneliness For Foster Parents Lands Four in Toils,” Toronto Star. September 16, 1933. Page 17.

Youths From Mimico Industrial School Are Recaptured Near Chatham

Special to The Star
Chatham, Ont., September 16. – While four youths who had taken part the wholesale escape by 21 inmates from the Victoria Industrial School last Sunday waited to-day in the cells of the Chatham police station for officials to take them back to Mimico, following their capture in a hobo jungle here yesterday, police were of the opinion that the home-sickness of one of the quartet brought them to Kent county.

The home-sick lad is 15 years old. He was commited to the Industrial School March 15 and his present bid for freedom is his second within two months. Police say loneliness for his foster mother and father, who live in Dover township, was the only reason he gave for his first escape and they suspect that it may have been a factor again.

This boy and three others were captured without a struggle yesterday afternoon during an elaborate search by provincial and city police along the Thames river, about a mile upstream from Chatham. The police organized for the hunt on a tip that three boys had been seen for a couple of days haunting the area where itinerants have constructed rude shelters.

Besides the juvenile, the three who were captured are George Partridge, 17, Hamilton; John Fountain, 16, Smithís Falls, and Robert Sims, 21, Hamilton. Questioned by Chief of Police Findlay Low, who directed the hunt, the juvenile and Partridge admitted that they were fugitives from the industrial school, and Fountain and Sims denied it. First definite identification of Fountain was made when The Star relayed the news of the capture and the names of the boys to school officials.

The jungle where the hunt occurred is where the C.P.R. crosses the river.

Police divided into two groups and approached on both sides of the river. As they closed in from all directions, Constables Steve Currie and Jack Harrington spotted the three younger boys walking along the railway track on the south side of the river. At first it appeared as if they were going to cross the bridge into the jungle, but they turned down a ravine into the screening willows.

When the two officers came quietly up to them they found them sitting at the waterís edge with Sims, who had not been previously observed. No attempt at escape was made and only the two younger lads showed fear at being taken into custody.
Four Held in Hamilton
Hamilton, Sept. 16. –  Alleged to have escaped from Mimico Industrial school last week, Gordon Manella, 17, this city; Donald Anstey, 16, Hespeler; Lynn Brown, 17, Peterboro, and richard Haywood, 16, Gonderham, were arrested by Deputy Chief Constable David Green and Detective Ernest Barrett late yesterday on charges of car theft. They will appear before County Magistrate Vance to-day.

The boys’ arrest climaxed a dramatic attempt to take the car of Jim Gray, Carlisle, police say. Gray drove the car to his farm, eleventh concession, East Flamboro, and parked it beside the road while he went back field to pick stones. A few minutes later he saw four youths climb into the machine and depart.

‘Before they got a quarter of a mile along the road the lads lost control of the car and crashed it over a ditch, wrecking it against a fence post,’ police stated. When Deputy Chief Green arrived and found the wreck, he looked further and found the boys’ tracks crossing the field. Driving to the tenth concession, he arrived there just as the fugitives emerged from the bush.

The lads offered no resistance, but related a tale of a journey from eastern Saskatchewan, which police stopped short when they recognized the clothing worn by Mimico inmates.

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“Escape of Boys Will Be Probed,” Toronto Globe. September 12, 1933. Page 11.

Nine of Twenty-One Lands Still Missing From Mimico School

Hon. W. G. Martin, Minister of Welfare, announced yesterday that a full investigation would be held into the escape of twenty-one juveniles from the Victoria Industrial School, Mimico, over the week-end. According to Superintendent W. G. Green, every effort will be made not only to determine the causes of the wholesale runaway, but to find whether any dissatisfaction exists among the inmates. Declaring that to his own belief, relations between the boys and the staff had at all times been of the best, Captain Green was of the opinion that the lads who escaped had simply acted on a sudden impulse for a fling at freedom.

Speaking to The Globe at a late hour last night, he said that nine of the lads were still missing. As far as is known, unlike those who returned to the school, this group were attired in their everyday clothes. The others got away in their night attire and were apparently discouraged by the cold.

A thorough search of the immediate district has failed to reveal any trace of the nine, and it is surmised that they have reached points further afield, by riding the bumpers or securing lifts from motorists unaware of their identity.

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“Ten Boys In Night Clothing Caught After Score Escape; Mimico Industrial School Boys Flee,” Toronto Star. September 11, 1933. Page 11 & 25.

Superintendent Blames Staff as Much as Inmates for Outbreak


During the absence of the new superintendent of the Victoria Industrial school, W. G. Green, 23 boys made their escape from the institution within the last 24 hours.  Eleven of the boys have been returned to the school and the search is continuing for the remainder. Ten of the boys who escaped, those recaptured, were clad only in nightshirts. 

The first two to take French leave of the school left at 4 o’clock Sunday morning and were found during the day. One made a break at 5 p.m. but was recaptured by an officer of the school a few minutes later.  At 8 o’clock eleven more left via a fire escape and two have been returned. Again at 9 o’clock eight more made their escape, this time clad only in nightshirts, their clothing being locked in a separate room.  They used bedding for footwear and made their way to the storage yard of the Mimico plant of the National Sewer Pipe Co., where they were found hiding in sewer  pipes sheltering from the bitter wind.

Unseen by Residents
The piles of sewer pipe among which several of the escaped lads are said to have hidden during yesterday and last night, at the top of Burlington Ave., are a considerable distance from houses on that street, and residents stated to-day that they have seen no trace of the boys. Some were reported to have been found near the railroad tracks.

C.N.R. railway police did not hold any of the boys, the sergeant of the Mimico yards stated to-day. ‘One officer was on duty last night and the only note he has left me is that two boys were reported missing from the Victoria Industrial School. At the head office I am informed they have no report of railway police capturing any of the missing boys.’

The eleven who escaped were older boys, around 15 years of age. They made their getaway by going through the library in the cottage where they were housed, and breaking open an old door, which had led, several years ago, to a fire escape. The door had not been in use for several years. The eight boys, clad in night-shirts, were about 12 years of age, and made their escape by removing the pins from the door leading to the fire escape in another cottage, and descending to the ground.

Two of the three boys who got away had escaped on previous occasions.

Escape from the institution, where the boys are not guarded and iron bars are lacking, is a fairly simple task during the day when the boys at work in the fields and around the cottages can easily make a dash out to the road or across country. At night, when the boys retire at 9 o’clock, the younger ones a half-hour earlier, it is a more difficult matter. The clothes are locked up, the cottages are locked, and a night watchman visits each dormitory every 15 minutes.

Regarded as Prank
Yesterday’s outbreak was the largest which has struck the school in many years, officials having difficulty in remembering whether any larger break had taken place during the same period of time. Officials considered the escape as a boyish prank, done on the spur of the moment. It is not known whether there was a ringleader. According to one member of the staff, the boys who were captured could give no excuse for their actions other than they wanted to go home.

Municipal and railway police throughout the district and members of the school staff conducted a night-long search. The boys were captured as they sought shelter for the night, two of them as they were attempting to hitch-hike on the highway. One officer of the institution, with long experience, was of the opinion that most of the missing boys would be found shortly, more than likely hiding in box cars in the Mimico C.N.R. yards.

Closer Watch Kept
A little closer watch is being kept over the 175 boys at the school today until the excitement is over. The school is run more on an honor system than by close supervision. In this respect it is unlike penal institutions. It is regarded more in the light of a home and school for the boys committed to its care, many of whom did not get proper training from their parents. The lads are given a regular education and vocational training during the day, and in the evenings they indulge in sports both in the gymnasium and swimming pool and out of doors during the summer.

Blames Staff
Capt. Green suggested to The Star that the cause of the boys escaping lay with the staff as much as it did with the boys themselves. ‘You see,’ he said, ‘I took over here last July and of course I have made a number of changes. Some of the staff have been here for a number of years and they resent any change. Their resentment of course communicates itself to the boys.

‘The boys themselves are well treated. In fact they have everything they want – except freedom. I suppose it is only natural for them to be very anxious for that. The meals they get are good, they go to school, have sports and recreation. We even teach them trades. You see there isn’t much more we could do with them except give them freedom, and of course that won’t do.’

Strap is Used
‘Every effort is made to keep any jail-like appearances away from the place,’ the superintendent stated. There are no bars on the windows, no walls about the buildings, no uniformed guards patrolling the grounds. The boys themselves are not required to wear uniforms.

Capt. Green was unable to say just how the boys who escaped would be punished.

‘Each case will be considered on its merits,’ he declared. ‘I will take each boy who escaped and talk with him. I will study the past history of the case to see just what I have to deal with. I may say that a great many of them will only be punished by having privileges taken from them. The privileges consist in motion picture shows, swims at the beach and other things; when boys misbehave, we just cut those things off.’

‘Might you whip the boys?’ The Star inquired.

‘We do not use the strap, but very infrequently. Only in special cases, and then I am the only one to strap them. I wouldn’t let any one else do it for fear they might be too severe.’

‘What about solitary confinement?’ ‘Yes, we have a place to keep them in confinement, but it isn’t used very often. They aren’t kept there very long, only a day or so. I think four days is the longest any boy has been kept there since I’ve been there. I go to see them every day.’

‘Will some of these boys be put in solitary confinement?’

‘Capt. Green replied that he could not say. ‘That will depend on what I find when I examine the boys,’ he said. Each case will get the punishment it deserves. However, I may say that I regard every boy as a mental case. Not that they are insane, but just that they got the wrong start in life, and have a distorted outlook on life. I never lose sight of this when I am dealing with them.’

Very Well Fed
‘Last night looks bad,’ Deputy Superintendent W. Pettinger told The Star, ‘but it is just a case of the boys going. The little fellows saw the others go from their windows and just went. As a rule the boys get homesick and want to see their mothers. It is all done on the spur of the moment. There is really no excuse. They are treated just as if they were at home. There is an atmosphere of freedom about the whole institution and they are very well fed – better than in any other place of its type we know of.’

Boys Used in Hunt
Asked if boys at the school were used to search for those who escaped, Mr. Pettinger stated that as a rule ‘a couple of boys’ were taken with the officers of the institution when they went out to hunt for those missing.

‘I have never heard of them catching anyone. They regard it as a picnic,’ he said. ‘Yesterday, all the boys attended church. There was a good spirit among them. I watched carefully when they lined up, but there was no disturbance or restlessness following the escape of the two earlier in the morning. Sunday usually is a bad day, because there is no activity to occupy the boys and they are inclined to become a little restless. I took 35 boys to church service at The Salvation Army by myself. There was not the slightest sign of trouble.’

Superintendent Away
Of the actual ‘break,’ Capt. Green would say little. ‘I was away over the week-end. When I came back late last night, I found what had happened. The boys are gradually being rounded up. We will have them all in a day or so. They will all come to me and admit that they did something foolish. You see, they don’t reason: they just act on emotion and that is part of their trouble. I haven’t seen any of them yet, and until I do, I can’t say what the punishment will be.’

The superintendent states he does not there there was a ringleader in the escape. 

‘I think the chance to break away came and they just took it,’ he said.

The boys escaped in groups, but the moment they are out they separated, Capt. Green says.

Then each boy, almost invariably, makes for his particular home. If it be in Toronto, he starts for the city: if it is to the west or north, he usually goes to the highway and tries to get a ride.

‘I think one of the chief causes of boys escaping is homesickness. They always make straight for home when they escape.’

‘The boys here are now treated as they would be at a boarding school,’ Superintendent Green told The Star, ‘with the sole exception that they have not their freedom to go and come as they want. And this, of course, is probably what they want more than anything else. In a way I can understand this overwhelming desire to break free, for even a few hours’ freedom. You know how you or I would feel under the circumstances, and as can be seen, there are no bars or wall to confine the boys.’

Mr. Green stated that he had instituted a number of changes in the routine of the reformatory for the betterment of the boys. ‘I have a very definite ideal towards which I am working,’ he said, ‘but of course it cannot be realized all at once or even in a year or two years. The boys now probably have more freedom than they have had for the past two years. We go to a show occasionally, and last week all were taken to the Exhibition, where they had a great time. The boys have swimming parties down at the beach, and split up in groups for this. The youngest are the ‘tadpoles,’ and we have other groups for the older boys.

‘Every afternoon there are organized sports, baseball and cricket, and they are building a running track. We even possess a stop watch, so that the boys can strive to break their own records, even if they cannot approach other records. I do not mind, for instance, if they take 15 seconds to run the 100 yards. If they can do it next week in 14, it is a great incentive.’

Before taking charge of the Victoria Industrial School on July 1, Mr. Green had had considerable experience with boys’ work in Hamilton. He started, at the request of the board of education, a class for backward boys. This class grew to a large attendance, and later the courts asked permission to send ‘problem boys’ there.

‘I believe that the boys themselves are often not directly to blame for their troubles. In 95 per cent, of the cases unfortunate family life has been the cause,’ he said.

Not Enough Staff
‘Not enough sleep and not enough play for the boys, not enough attendants, too much work for the attendants, resulting in anything but a character-building atmosphere,’ summarizes the trouble at Victoria Industrial School, according to Charles F. Walling, Frenchman’s Bay, former carpentry instructor and cottage officer at the Mimico institution.

In an interview published in The Star Friday, Mr. Walling denounced the use of solitary confinement as a means of punishing the boys.

‘The thing that I put the boys running away down to is that there is not sufficient staff to look after them,’ Mr. Walling said. ‘There are only nine men to look after  about 200 boys. There are also about 21 women, averaging in age about 60 years, although are a few young women on the staff, and there should be no women at all.

‘There should be a man all night in each cottage instead of only two night-watchmen for the entire institution after 8:30 pm. Each of these escapes, it has been estimated, costs an average of $25 per boy. There should be two officers for every cottage instead of one. There are five cottages with about 25 boys to each.

‘On Sundays there is nothing for the boys to do but sit down and look at one another,’ Mr. Walling said. ‘On Sundays there are only two men to look after 200 boys. Idle hands will find mischief. They should be allowed to play baseball, to go swimming and have gymnastics. There is no proper recreational provision for Sunday.’

Food is Good
‘The boys are always planning to escape,’ Mr. Walling said. ‘It is all bosh that talk of a real home – you can hardly make an industrial school a real home. I think the way to build character among boys of that kind is through athletics, but the athletic field out there is like a plowed field.

‘Also there is no proper supervision of their play, and no proper recreational instruction. The only time the boys have for play is an hour and a half at night, weather permitting, and Saturday afternoons.

‘The food at the school is all right,’ Mr. Walling said. ‘There is a rule that no boy, even if under punishment, ever goes without a meal. The boys work half the day and go to school half the day. The work is carpentry, shoemaking, printing, tailoring, laundering, baking.

Attendants Over-worked
‘Attendants are over-worked and are not in fit condition to handle the boys to the best advantage,’ Mr. Walling said. ‘Attendants get up at 6 a.m. and work until 9 p.m. – 15 hours a day, seven days a week less one-half day off. One hundred hours a week is a fairly short week for them. A man can’t take any great interest in the boys – he is half-asleep, he is dormant.

‘The boy’s day is: Rise, 6:30; breakfast 7; school 9 to 12 (or alternatively in afternoon); dinner 12:30; work 1.30 to 5.00; supper 5.30; bed 8.30 (or 9 in the summer). The boy doesn’t get enough sleep and he doesn’t get enough play.

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“Restorative justice has gathered increasing attention over the past two decades. As Kathleen Daly has shown, in the past 10 years, over 60 edited collections or book-length treatments of it have been published in English. In her opinion, ‘no other justice practice has commanded so much scholarly attention in such a short period of time’. The concept of restorative justice has captivated not only academics and scholars, but researchers, policy makers, activists and advocates, and governments. Important questions are still debated, for example, whether or not it should be an informal or a formal mechanism, whether it is the polar opposite to retributive forms of justice, and the extent to which ‘professionals’ and ‘experts’ should be involved in its projects. Yet despite these continued debates, and the diverse range of projects usually associated with it (e.g. victim offender reconciliation programs, sentencing circles and family group conferences), restorative justice proponents tend to agree upon the following core elements:

( a ) an emphasis on the role of victims in the justice process;
( b ) the involvement of all the parties concerned with the criminal event (including the victim, the offender, supporters of each and the wider community); and
( c ) a central focus on ‘solving’ crime ‘problems’ by restoring balance among all affected parties, and successfully reintegrating victims and offenders back into their communities.

It seeks to extend the logic of informal mediation and arbitration beyond the settlement of business disputes and into the realm of individual conflicts. A primary concern is to reduce state control of the criminal justice process. Many would say the approach is based upon a critique of more ‘formal’ mechanisms, and by extension, of dominant criminological theories that see the state as the only legitimate arbiter of criminal justice. Though it is now widely supported by various governments and politicians, most restorative experiments were started by criminal justice professionals, voluntary workers and allied reformers working within the existing (rehabilitative) system. This grew from dissatisfaction with ‘formal’ procedures, but also with rehabilitative projects that centered on the state, its experts and state-supported and directed correctional systems. Restorative projects respond to these problematizations by ridding criminal processes of ‘experts’ and by locating the authority and responsibility to solve crime problems within the communities that are affected by them. This is intended to move the crime ‘problem’ and ‘solution’ into community forums where the autonomy and embeddedness of local authorities is said to reside. The autonomy of state experts in governing crime posed problems for accountability to local interests. As a solution, restorative forums allow local interested parties to have a more central stake in matters pertaining to crime and delinquency within their communities. This broadens the corrective gaze to include parties other than the offender, and to encompass the entire community including the victim. The offence is thus shifted from a wrong committed against the state, to be corrected by state experts focusing on the rehabilitation of individual offenders, to a wrong committed against the proper balance of a ‘community’. It is to be the community that mediates, sanctions and supports the correction of crime problems. In re-centering the victim in this process, restorative justice attempts to avoid rehabilitation’s identified problem of focusing overly on the offender to the detriment of victims.

Yet despite these significant changes, there is a considerable thread of correction and reform embedded in restorative justice. It seems safe to say that rather than rupturing modern penality, these differences take restorative justice beyond rehabilitation’s identified problems while maintaining and modifying several of its underlying principles. Some of these continuities become evident as we draw out the similarities between the two programs. For example, both restorative justice and rehabilitation share an action plan to address the underlying causes of offending behavior and to prevent re-offending. They both perceive crime as caused in part by (social) factors beyond an individual’s control, and attempt to address those factors through reform (broad social programming in the case of rehabilitation, and more ‘targeted’ reconciliatory and reparative programs in restorative justice forums). Further, both concern themselves with aiding and changing offenders in some way, and they both focus on ‘correcting’ the crime problem rather than simply containing or controlling it. This demonstrates an implicit belief that crime is a ‘problem’ that has a solution and is solvable. As Lucia Zedner has noted, restorative justice operates as a powerful rival to punitive orthodoxies, and may even signify a rebirth of rehabilitation. Restorative justice, in this sense, has quite a bit more in common with rehabilitation than it may at first appear, which in part may rebut the proposition that it is just another new weapon for crime control (though this may at times be its effect). Along with the significant political capital that restorative justice is beginning to have – which stems in part from its promise to ‘do’ something about crime – it satisfies current (neo-liberal) demands by centering individual responsibility, keeping experts out of the justice process
and involving the community in corrections. But at the same time as it responds to criticisms of state-centered (welfare) rehabilitation, restorative justice projects re-articulate the modernist portion of the recipe in important and perhaps unrealized ways. It may quite rightly be seen as a re-invention of correctionalism rather than a significant departure from it.

Such projects have already acquired significant leverage in many western countries. In 1999, the United Nations Economic and Social Council passed a resolution endorsing its principles and inculcating them into various international resolutions. Related projects numbered over 1000 in 16 different countries in 2001. Examples include ‘reintegrative shaming’ ceremonies in New Zealand and Australia, which are even being used in white-collar crime cases, and the proliferation of the ‘Wagga’ model throughout Australia and elsewhere, introduced in the UK in the early 1990s. In New Zealand since 1988, the rate of institutionalization of youth offenders has dropped by more than half and perhaps by as much as 75 percent, and most cases that proceed beyond the formal laying of charges end up being diverted into some form of restorative conference. In the UK, Adam Crawford and Tim Newburn have noted that both the Crime and Disorder Act 1998 and the Youth Justice and Criminal Evidence Act 1999, both pieces of national legislation, are grounded in the principles underlying the concept of restorative justice. In Canada, La Prairie has likewise documented a shift away from ‘punitiveness and punishment’ towards ‘reconciliation, healing, repair, atonement, and reintegration’. More specifically, there are now more than 100 ‘restorative projects’ across Canada so labeled by the Department of Justice and Correctional Services. The RCMP, Canada’s national police force, now champions ‘Community Justice Forums’ (CJFs), which center on restorative principles and the Gladue Courts in Toronto now solely handle Aboriginal offenders through a culturally sensitive judicial process that stresses restoration and repair. 

In the United States, however, restorative justice is often regarded as less prominent than elsewhere. Richard Ericson for example, notes that in the USA a more exclusionary style dominates, whereas other countries including Britain, France, Australia and Canada, prefer a more inclusionary and restorative approach. The US Department of Justice did sponsor several conferences on restorative justice in the later 1990s, and at present, all 50 states have restorative programs in some stage of development. Unfortunately this does not indicate the (likely varying) level of state commitment to restorative justice, and as Daly has remarked, ‘legislation establishing and funding restorative justice initiatives, of the sort that exists in Australia and New Zealand, and to a lesser degree, in England and Wales […] is absent in the USA’. Nevertheless, in all 50 states restorative justice is now a penal option, though a poorly funded and supported one in many cases. Yet we might say that as is the case with most criminal justice innovations, where some jurisdictions have taken more to restorative justice, others have seen different developments – which may be no less correctional.”

–  Steven Hutchinson, “Countering catastrophic criminology: Reform, punishment and the modern liberal compromise.” PUNISHMENT & SOCIETY 8(4). pp. 451-453. 

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“In The culture of control (2001), David Garland likewise argues that the present ‘crime control complex’ is drastically different than anything we have seen before:

Recent developments in crime control and criminal justice are so puzzling because they appear to involve a sudden and startling reversal of the settled historical pattern […] The modernizing processes that, until recently, seemed so well established in this realm […] now look as if they have been thrown into reverse. 

Twentieth-century ‘penal modernism’ is described by Garland as the combination of underlying specialist institutions such as the police, the courts and prisons, juxtaposed with a modernist superstructure organized around the unifying ethos of ‘correctionalism’ (which includes generally, rehabilitation, individualized treatment, indeterminate or flexible sentences and criminological research). This superstructure, he argues, was supported by systematic arrangements such as probation, parole, juvenile courts, treatment programmes and so on, and more broadly by social welfare agencies themselves. The resulting organizational mix is said to have created a hybrid ‘penal welfare’ structure, which combined the liberal legalism of due process and proportionate punishment with a correctional commitment to rehabilitation, welfare and specialist (criminological) expertise. This nexus mobilized what he calls the ‘welfare sanction’, and a breadth of consensus was reached about the ends that criminal justice was to pursue and the means required to do so. A common ‘credo’ and consensus emerged that crime control must be a specialist, professional task of law enforcement, oriented to the post hoc pursuit and processing of individual offenders. Here ‘rehabilitation’ was not just one element among others, but the ‘organizing principle, the intellectual framework and value system that bound together the whole structure and made sense of it for practitioners’.

By contrast, this unified arrangement has supposedly now been transformed into a ‘late modern’ pre-occupation with economic freedoms and social control – the precise opposite concerns. Garland posits that ‘In the course of a few years, the orthodoxies of rehabilitative faith collapsed in virtually all of the developed countries’. And he continues: ‘Late modernity and the new politics to which it gave rise changed how organizations thought about crime and punishment, justice and control, just as it changed the terrain on which these organizations operated’. This new terrain is said to have ushered in control and containment. New strategies include:

the reintroduction of chain gangs, ‘three-strikes’ and mandatory minimum sentencing laws;‘truth in sentencing’ and parole release restrictions; ‘no frills’ prison laws and ‘austere prisons’; retribution in juveniles court and the imprisonment of children; the revival of chain gangs and corporal punishments; boot camps and supermax prisons; the multiplication of capital offences and executions; community notification laws and pedophile registers; zero tolerance policies and Anti-Social Behaviour Orders.

Crime he suggests, has taken on an entirely new significance as an indicator of inadequate controls, rather than an indicator of need, whose solution lies in the development of more controls. Garland’s vision of a catastrophic rupture in ‘penal modernity’ presses him into overplaying the coherence and consistency of that ‘era’, and into underestimating the inconsistency of current developments, which as we will see, are not all about control.

Barry Vaughan’s 2000 account, on the other hand, suggests that ‘modern punishment’ was less coherent than accounts like those of Garland and Hallsworth make it seem. For Vaughan, punishment was ‘always’ about both reform and punishment. Arguing that citizenship can serve as an important indicator of punishment, he shows how the development of distinct components of citizenship (egalitarianism, social trust, mutual dependency and so on) correlate to significant changes in punishment. Beginning with the birth of the prison and the conditions that surrounded it, Vaughan argues that modern punishment can be defined by the enumeration of normalization,
correction and/or segregation. The category of the criminal was, he argues, one of incomplete citizenship where punishment was partly an attempt to encourage
offenders to regulate themselves and change their behavior: ‘it is against those who have fallen below the standards which are expected of all citizens but is also used to mould them into citizens’. But at the same time, it served as a deterrent and retributive mechanism. Modern punishment for Vaughan was both a punitive deterrent as well as a device for character-transformation. Penal authorities, he argues, could never establish regimes which would be exclusively reformatory – the symbolic role of punishment implied that suffering had to be seen to be imposed so they could not be seen as being too ‘indulgent’. All modern punishment thus involved elements of both punitiveness and reform: 

reform and deterrence were always linked and […] to portray punishment as composed of one or the other fails to do justice to the complexity of penal practice.

In contrast to this duality of more modern punishment, however, Vaughan suggests that not only has there been a recent increase in the incarcerative side of punishment, but that the nature of punishment is becoming more exacting. It is no longer being used in a ‘modern’ way to reintegrate, reform and to discipline ‘conditional’ citizens, but instead to simply disable or exclude those who are thought to be ‘non-citizens’. Since the 1970s, he argues, citizenship has been undergoing a significant transformation, which relates to the failure of the ‘nation-state’ to secure participation within society, and the correlative development of supra-national citizenship. As states become more integrated through political institutions above the level of the nation-state: ‘Traditional ideas of citizenship are challenged by such developments and currently punishment is being deployed to shore up citizenship through the exclusion of marginalized members and immigrants’. This for Vaughan runs completely counter
to the reform/punishment character of ‘modern’ punishment:

Punishment is now being used not upon those who are thought to be conditional citizens with a view to reintegration but against those who are thought to be non-citizens to disable or exclude them. Punishment in the modern era has always been ambivalent but it is losing whatever sense of inclusiveness it has as the exclusiveness of citizenship becomes more evident.

There seems then a clear tendency to interpret criminal justice and penality as having undergone a ‘catastrophic’ transformation. As the argument goes, things are now and will be in the future completely different from the previous era, organized as it was around scientific reform and correction. While these accounts vary greatly in detail, and in what they propose causes this rupture, they are alike in that they now see the governance of crime as control oriented, exclusionary and incacerative. However a number of critics have suggested that this over-exaggerates the degree of change and the consistency of
emerging patterns.

Pat O’Malley has described penal policy as exhibiting ‘volatile and contradictory’ characteristics, recognizing that both correctional and punitive currents are at work. Rose has suggested that risk ‘sorts’ populations into low- and high-risk streams that are subjected respectively to inclusive and exclusionary practices. … Loader and Sparks have argued that neither the past nor the present exhibits the consistency attributed it by catastrophic criminologies: 

Aside from setting up some rather unhelpful binary oppositions […], such histories of the present run the risk of doing violence to the past, of underplaying its tensions and conflicts, of inadvertently re/producing one-dimensional –implicitly rose-tinted – accounts of both the history of the politics of penal modernism, and the reasons for its (apparent) demise.

For example it is questionable whether even during the heyday of the ‘welfare sanction’ things were as organized and coherent as some accounts suggest. Other writers have questioned the extent to which rehabilitation – and welfare governance itself – dominated mid-century practices as often as proposed.

For example, even at welfare’s ‘height’, the fine remained the most frequently used penal sanction. And in prisons, correctional programmes always were and still are backed up by very real and immediate punitive and carceral sanctions for non-compliance or misbehavior, just as some criminal sanctions remained primarily retributive. Modern liberal penality, even where in large part reformative and corrective, always included some element of deterrence and retribution. As Vaughan remarks,

It is a failing of those influenced by Norbert Elias and Michel Foucault that they believe that the excessive brutality which seemed to characterize earlier punishments had no place in the prison system and were gradually eradicated from modern forms of punishment.

Rather the explicit brutality in prisons throughout the ‘modern’ era was consistent, not occasional, and regimes of solitary confinement, physical and
psychological punishments for transgression of rules and intense humiliation and degradation, have always been elements of modern penal regimes. In other words, not only does the identification of change in catastrophic accounts seem too extreme – ignoring strong correctional and inclusive counter-currents today, and strong repressive currents in the era of the welfare sanction – but the modernist and liberal criminal justice in which we are still embedded has a characteristically ‘braided’ nature where correctional and repressive streams (regional differences aside) are always present and always strong.

Part of the ‘secret’ to this is provided by David Garland’s earlier account 
of the emergence of the ‘welfare sanction’, and more recently by Barry Vaughan.
Emerging in part from criticisms in the 1800s that the Victorian penal system was less a remedy for social misbehavior and more a cause of it, the welfare sanction concerned itself with normative regulation, supervision and administrative segregation, as well as punishment. In this account, the welfare sanction emerged as a compromise between ‘modernist’ social expertise based upon the scientific reform of offenders, and classical liberal concerns that offenders would no longer be held responsible for wrongdoing. The classical liberal orthodoxy of individualism, legalism and social laissez-faire was thus rewritten to include non-legal (human) knowledges and disciplines:

These knowledges and the techniques they proposed, though highly diverse and contradictory inter se, nonetheless were united by a general programme of intervention based not on a legal philosophy but upon a positive knowledge of (human) objects and the techniques which would transform them.

The durability of this penal-welfare compromise lay precisely in the fact that it
combined so successfully punitive and reform impulses, liberal legalism and modernist scientific knowledge and expertise.

As Barry Vaughan more recently points out, all modern punishment always entails elements of both punitiveness and reform. Where Garland goes
on to break punishment down into two types (correction and segregation), implying that one is either the subject of reform practices or a recipient of exclusionary deterrence, Vaughan aptly highlights the ‘ambivalence of punishment’. Part of this is his suggestion that the ‘modernization’ of punishment and the prison system did not eradicate violence, but merely transposed it, transforming overt violence into psychological and emotional humiliation, which is no less punitive. As such, the normative and disciplinary practices of the ‘modernized’ penal system were embedded as much in punishment as in correction and reform, and penality was a reflection of this recipe. While Vaughan chalks up the persistence of punitiveness to being a legitimating device for reinforcing the notion that offenders were not complete citizens, alternatively we might say that the persistence of punishment alongside more scientific and expert-driven interventions is due to the continued braiding of modernist and liberal rationalities. In this way, the doctrines of punishment, responsibility, deterrence and so on, are melded to those of correction, reform and the application of ‘human’ knowledges and sciences.

Following this broader genealogy it seems clear that the arrival of a neo-liberal political rationality has led to an assault on the modernist elements of the equation, and a revalorization of liberal individualism and responsibility. Yet, as this article suggests, it would be a mistake to imagine that this represents a complete watershed. As others have argued it is not at all the case that ‘modern’ welfare institutions have disappeared, or even been significantly dismantled. Rather – as with unemployment – the old rehabilitative apparatuses have been the site of new techniques and new practices. For example, it seems true, as King has argued, that developments such as ‘workfare’ are coercive and ‘illiberal’, but it is also the case that these practices continue to braid together such repressive elements with more reintegrative efforts at retraining and reform. In this process, reformative techniques have been subject to much innovation, bringing them in line with a new focus on individual responsibility, setting up new relations of expertise that downplay ‘dependency’, and so on – but ‘expert’ intervention with a view to changing subjects has not disappeared.

…something similar has occurred in the domain of punishment and corrections. Certainly the modernist theme of reform and correction has been under assault. But following the onslaught of ‘nothing works’ in the 1970s, a counter-tide of ‘what works’ has been flowing. Even should we agree that programs and reform initiatives such as abolitionism, decriminalization and deinstitutionalism have had little impact upon government thinking and policy, other programs have had more sustained and in some cases increasingly relevant play in criminal justice and penality. In these cases, correctional and reformative tendencies have been revalorized and revitalized. Rather than the period since about the 1980s having witnessed the demise of a correctional ethos, the following examples will demonstrate how we have been witness to their re-invention.”

–  Steven Hutchinson, “Countering catastrophic criminology: Reform, punishment and the modern liberal compromise.” PUNISHMENT & SOCIETY 8(4). pp. 445-450.

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“Use of Strap Advised To Reduced ‘Repeaters’,” Globe and Mail. April 29, 1939. Page 17.

“The number of ‘repeaters’ in Ontario penal institutions would be materially reduced if magistrates shortened the jail term imposed on young first offenders, added a strapping to the sentence and ordered them segregated from hardened criminals, it was suggested yesterday by the grand jury of the Supreme Court of Ontario in a presentment to Mr. Justice Godfrey.

The grand jurors visited the Toronto Jail, the Jail Farm, York County House at Aurora, the Ontario Brick and Tile Plant and the Ontario Hospital in Mimico, Mercer Reformatory, and the City Hall during the week.

‘We found in the three penal institutions,’ they reported, ‘ a very large percentage of young men, ‘many of whom are repeaters and are on the downhill road all too fast. We learned from the prisoners that the strap is one punishment that they do not like, and from officials that the strap is the best method to straighten out an incorrigible.

‘We make bold to suggest and recommend to the proper authorities that magistrates shorten the jail term of young first offender, and add a strapping, the strappings to be administered under proper supervision. The jury believes that this method of punishment would materially reduce the number of repeaters,’ declared Foreman W. G. Marshall of Islington, reading the presentment.

New Court House Advocated
The jury was ‘adversely impressed with the poor recommendation for the administration of justice,’ in the City Hall, Courts, it complained, were on three floors and spread all over the building. A strong recommendation was made that a new court house be built immediately.

The twelve jurors found the jail spotlessly clean, with fire equipment properly located. Food was ‘wholesome and of good quality.’ The institution, however, was old, they said, and certain sections presented a definite fire hazard.

‘A large number of cells are extremely small, and all cells lack modern sanitary coneveniences. The institution is very much overcrowded, preventing proper segregation of prisoners. We would strongly recommend that consideration be given to the erection of a new jail,’ the jurors asserted also advocating that night guards be increased.

Ontario Hospital at Mimico, they said, had been made safer from a fire standpoint. New buildings had been added to the original cottages, and the latter had been renovated, generally overhauled and equipped with modern fireproof stairs. In the York County House, Aurora, they found a ‘kindly, homelike atmosphere about the whole institution.’ They left the Jail Farm at Langstaff with ‘the conviction that the institution is an excellent condition and under a most competent administration.’ The Mimico tile plant was also well managed, they reported, and inmates in Mercer Reformatory were properly segregated.”

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