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Seeking the Truth: An Alternative to Conservative and Liberal Thinking in Criminology

Braswell, Michael C
June 4, 2015

Source: (1999) Criminal Justice Review. Vol.24, No.1 pp. 50-63, Spring.

Rather than rigidly defend a liberal or conservative position, it is more important to use whole sight and to ask more relevant and meaningful questions. Academicians criticize both the public and the media for their inaccurate perceptions of the crime problem and for allegedly misinformed opinions about crime and criminal justice. Although some writing on prisons and prison sentences is biased, the article does not argue that biased writing is either endemic or pervasive in criminal justice and criminology. It presents examples of scholarly writing that seeks the truth in a diligent and open-minded fashion. Liberals and conservatives need to think about each other’s positions objective1y in terms of strengths and weaknesses and to try to understand the feelings that motivate such thinking. The purpose of a more open and balanced perspective is to seek the truth rather than defend a particular ideology. This is especially relevant for the development of criminal justice legislation and policy.


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