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Affective versus Effective Justice: Instrumentalism and Emotionalism in Criminal Justice

Frieberg, Arie
June 4, 2015

Source: (2001) Punishment and Society 3(2): 265-278

This article argues that if crime prevention policies are to succeed in the political or public spheres they must address some of the deeper emotional or affective dimensions of crime and its place in society. While crime prevention remains a predominantly ‘rationalist’ approach to criminal policy, it will fail to compete successfully with the more emotive law-and-order policies that tend to resonate with the public and that appear to meet deep-seated psychological and affective needs. It suggests that crime prevention can address the three core elements that must make up a response to crime: the instrumental, the emotional and the production of social cohesion. It outlines a range of values and symbols that crime prevention may tap into in order to meet some of the affective dimensions of criminal justice policy. Author’s abstract.


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