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Of Crime, Criminal Justice and Corrections

Korn, R
June 4, 2015

Source: (1971) University of San Francisco Law Review 6(1):27-75.

This essay suggests that penal reform has failed in the United States. There was too little of it, it was too slow, and what there was of it was dressed in rhetoric so inflated that actual achievement was always discredited by the pretense. The only alternative to reform is a transformation of what now exists, based on different principles. The crucial decision is between reform or replacement. It is one of the ironies of correctional history that its most pernicious instrument, the mass institution, has repeatedly been reprieved by the well-meaning intervention of penal reformers. Involuntary penal incarceration is an unnecessary social evil. The change called for is the transformation of a criminal justice system based on reconciliation through mutual restitution.


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