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Late-modern rehabilitation: The evolution of a penal strategy.

Robinson, Gwen
June 4, 2015

Source: (2008) Punishmnet and Society. 10(4):429-445.

In a number of recent analyses, rehabilitation has been portrayed as a casualty of processes of penal transformation, coming to be frequently characterized as ‘dead’ or ‘irrelevant’. This article takes issue with such a characterization in the specific penal context of England & Wales, and seeks to explain why rehabilitation is currently enjoying a renewed legitimacy. The central argument is that rehabilitation, in this jurisdiction, has adapted and survived into the 21st century by transforming and remarketing itself in important ways. Central to this transformative process has been a successful appeal to three dominant ‘late modern’ penal narratives: utilitarian, managerial and expressive. It is argued that in the contemporary (Anglo-Welsh) penal context, rehabilitation enjoys legitimacy to the extent that it is compatible with each of these narratives. (author’s abstract)


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