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A criminology and deviancy theory history timeline

based on The New Criminology. For a social theory of deviance (1973), by Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young.
1188 - 1290 - 1500 - 1612 - 1660 - 1682 - 1756 - 1764 - 1765 - 1776 - 1777 - 1779 - 1781 - 1785 - 1787 - 1789 - 1791 - 1794 - 1797 - 1800 - 1805 - 1808 - 1810 - 1813 - 1821 - 1823 - 1835 - 1832 - 1838 - 1840 - 1842 - 1851 - 1857 - 1863 - 1867 - 1868 - 1876 - 1877 - 1884 - 1893 - 1901 - 1921 - 1925 - 1934 - 1936 - 1937 - 1938 - 1949 - 1951 - 1960 - 1967 - 1971 - 1973 - 1974 - 1975 - 1979 - 1981 - 1982 - 1984 - 1986 - 1987 - 1989 - 1990 - 1993 - 1997 - 1998 - 1999 - 2001 - 2002 - 2003 - 2004 - 2005 - 2006 -

About 1500 Eight capital crimes were defined: treason, petty treason, murder, robbery, larceny, rape and arson. (Timeline of capital punishment in Britain - which does not say what the eighth was)

1678 John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (Part One) in which Christian follows the straight and narrow path to heaven (external link to text)

1680 John Bunyan's The Life and Death of Mr Badman outlines his staggering steps to hell (external link to text)

1684 John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (Part Two) In which Christiana follows her husband, Christian, with her children

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the works of Bunyan and the Bible were amongst the very small range of books that one might expect to find in the homes of ordinary, but literate, people in England and Wales. They shaped the common perception of crime and punishment.

1682: Bideford Witch Trials led to last executions for witchcraft in England. In 1685 Alice Molland may have been hanged. If so, she is believed to have been the last person executed for witchcraft. Let us hope she survived.
See Salem Witch Trials


Britain William Blackstone, professor of law at Oxford University, published his lectures as An Analysis of the Laws of England

Classical Criminology


Italy: Cesare Beccaria's Dei delitti e delle pene published in Italian. It was translated into French, and from the French into English as An Essay on Crimes and Punishment (1767) with a commentary attributed to Voltaire.

Beccaria's Essay on Crimes and Punishment is taken as the first formulation of the principles of classical criminology. It is called classical because the later "positivist school of criminology" saw itself as a modern development that moved beyond the classical by being more "scientific" than "philosophic". (See dictionary). Beccaria built on the idea of "social contract" used by state of nature theorists such as Hobbes and (later) Rousseau, and on theories later called utilitarian (Helvetius and David Hume).

This is how Taylor, Walton and Young (page 2) claim classical theory can be summarised in seven points. Jennifer Seelig has identified parts of Beccaria's Essay on Crimes and Punishment that may illustrate six of the points. I have linked through to these.

1) Everyone is, by nature, self-seeking and this means everyone is liable to commit crime.

2) There is a consensus in society that it is desirable to protect private property and personal welfare

3) In order to prevent a war of all against all, people freely enter into a contract with the state to preserve the peace within the terms of this consensus.

4) Punishment must be used to deter individuals from violating the interests of others. It is the prerogative [monopoly? - see Weber] of the state, granted to it by the individuals making up the social contract, to act against these violations.

5) Punishments must be proportional to the interests violated by the crime. It must not be in excess of this, neither must it be used for reformation; for this would be encroach on the rights of the individual and transgress the social contract. [This is a contentious aspect of the Taylor, Walton, Young summary - But they do not back it up]

6) There should be as little law as possible, and its implementation should be closely delineated by due process

7) The individual is responsible for his actions and is equal, no matter what his rank, in the eyes of the law. Mitigating circumstances or excesses are therefore inadmissible.

Compare Beccaria 21

Quite what this summary summarises is not entirely clear, but Taylor, Walton and Young indicate their broad concept of classical theory when they speak of "classical social contract theory - or utilitarianism". - The utilitarian Bentham considered social contract theory "nonsense upon stilts" - The Taylor, Walton and Young list appears to be a construct taking elements from different eighteenth and early nineteenth century theories, and possibly combining them with elements from 20th century theories. It's educational value must include trying to find theorists who agree or disagree with its elements.

English Conservatism


Britain Between 1765 and 1769, William Blackstone published the first edition of his Commentaries on the Laws of England

"Of a constitution, so wisely contrived, so strongly raised, and so highly finished, it is hard to speak with that praise, which is just and severely its due - the thorough and attentive contemplation of it will furnish its best panegyric"

1771 Initial suggestions of Jean Jacques Philippe Viscount Vilain 14th (1712-1777) led to the Maison de Force (House of Correction) being founded at Ghent, Belgium, in 1772. Described as an enlightened detention centre, combining prison, work-house, and house of correction. A place of correction for offenders, mendicants, vagrants, and others. Its treatment regime was solitary confinement at night and collective labour in the day. It was reformed in 1775 (see below).

1775 Mémoire sur les Moyens de Corriger le Malfaiteurs et Fainéans a leur propre Avantage et de les Rendre utiles à l'état proposé à l'Assemblée des Députés par le Vicomte Vilain XIIII., etc. [Memoire on the means of correcting criminals to their true advantage and of rendering them useful to society] A printed edition of 268 pages, with four double-page engraved plates, was published in the early 19th century (1841?) in Ghent, by Pierre de Goesin. The British Library has a copy.

Bentham's Utilitarianism


Britain Jeremy Bentham's A Fragment of Government published Criticising Blackstone's conservative theory. In 1768, Bentham had decided to provide a scientific foundation for jurisprudence and legislation. He formulated the principle of utility, that the greatest happiness of the greatest number is the only proper measure of right and wrong and the only proper end of government. His early manuscripts frequently mention Helvetius and Beccaria

Modern Prisons

Revolting America stops taking transported British prisoners , stimulating:
  • Prison hulks in Thames: 1776 to 1857
  • Australia's development as an alternative place to send convicts.
  • Act to allow state prisons (1779)
  • Prison as a mode of punishment and reform developed, in theory and practice, during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Foucault argues that the theory of discipline developed before the practice.


    Britain John Howard's The State of the Prisons

    1779 Penitentiary Act: The first English Act authorising state prisons. Only Millbank was built under the Act.

    1780 Gordon rioters attack Newgate
    1782 A new Newgate Prison finished
    1783 Public hangings moved from Tyburn to Newgate. (See 1789 and 1817

    Germany Immanuel Kant's philosophy is the major alternative to Utilitarianism. Kant developed the moral ideas of Rousseau into a formal theory of the difference between reasoning about what is (science) and reasoning about what we ought to do (ethics, or "practical reason"). His theories are a criticism of the Scottish utilitarian philosopher, David Hume.


    Germany Immanuel Kant's The Critique of Pure Reason social science history


    Germany Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals


    Germany Immanuel Kant's The Critique of Practical Reason

    The end of the eighteenth century saw the end of some gruesome displays. Notable was the end of publicly burning the (dead) body of people convicted of petty treason (notably husband murder) and the end of the public exhibition of lunatics at Bethlem Hospital.


    Britain Jeremy Bentham's An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation published


    Social Science History 1791 Britain Jeremy Bentham's Panopticon; or, the Inspection-House: Containing the Idea of a New Principle of Construction Applicable to Any Sort of Establishment, in which Persons of Any Description Are to Be Kept Under Inspection Mental Health History
    Bentham and intervention 1794: The British Parliament backed Bentham's Panopticon as the plan for a new Prison. Bentham was to run it under contract. Foundations were laid. But, in January 1803, Bentham was told the Government could not find the funds

    France: Code pénal du 25 septembre -6 octobre 1791

    External link: The French Revolution and the organisation of justice

    Gloucester Gaol Acts: 1781 and 1785
    About 1792 (Other dates are given) A prison in Northleach, Gloucestershire, built at the instigation of Sir George Onesiphorus Paul, High Sheriff of Gloucestershire. Conceived as a model prison. The Prison is variously known as Gloucester Penitentiary, Gloucester Gaol or Gloucester Prison. [Gloucester County Lunatic Asylum was originally planned in 1793 and eventually opened in 1823] Some features of the prison were later copied in Cherry Hill Penitentiary, Philadelphia in 1829, and London's Pentonville Prison in 1844


    Germany Immanuel Kant's The Metaphysics of Morals

    France: Code pénal de 1810

    Newgate "now the general felons' prison for the City of London and the County of Middlesex" (James Elmes in A Topographical Description of London (1831). The largest number of prisoners were there for theft, robbery or fraud. Many were children. Edward Gibbon Wakefield, who was a prisoner from 1827 to 1830, described it as "not a house of correction or penitentiary, but merely a prison of detention - a sort of metropolitan watch-house for the secure custody of persons about to be tried or executed...the great mass of prisoners... are persons awaiting trial". The prisoners, like Wakefield, who were there for punishment, were not subject to a regime to make them "penitent". Wakefield, being a gentleman, had quite a commodious cell with a maid-of-all-work to look after him. His two children visited him regularly in his cell where he gave them there lessons. Wakefield was even allowed to carry out social investigations, including interviewing other prisoners. [An early example of field work or participant observation]. Less fortunate prisoners than Wakefield were locked, two or even three together, in cells eight foot by six. Men and women were in different parts of the prison and boys under fourteen were kept in a part of the prison known as the school - unless they were considered hardened offenders. Prisoners sentenced to death were kept in solitary confinement. Wakefield said that, on average, twenty prisoners would be waiting death at any one time. At the most, there were fifty nine. Some of these would be reprieved. There average stay between sentence and reprieve or execution was six weeks. (Bloomfield, P. 1961, chapter 5)

    Newcastle Jane Jameson tried and executed for the murder (whilst drunk) of her mother. Compare Mary Lamb in 1796 who murdered her mother in a fit of insanity and was not sent for trial. 2.1.1829 the murder 5.3.1829 the trial (external link) 7.3.1829 the execution (external link). A sketch was made at her trial (external link)

    France: 1832 8 avril: réforme du Code pénal et création de la détention (art. 7 & 20). La déportation est remplacée transitoirement par la détention perpétuelle (article 17). - (external source)

    Moral Statistics

    "The first attempts to tackle the problem of crime scientifically were social rather than biological. The transition between classicism and positivism was largely effected by the 'moral statisticians'" New Criminology p.37

    Moral statistics just means statistics about the human as distinct from the physical or natural. Examples of its use are the titles of Bisset Hawkins book on Germany in 1838 - von Oettingen's book relating to social ethics in 1868 - and Morselli's book on Suicide in 1879. Nowadays we are more likely to call such statistics: social statistics


    Belgium and France Adolphe Quetelet's Sur l'homme et le dévelopment de ses facultés ou Essai de physique sociale published in Paris. It was translated into English and published in 1842 as A Treatise on Man and the Development of his Faculties. Quetelet put forward the concept of the "average man".

    physique sociale is translated in New Criminolgy as "social physics"

    1835 Prisons Act appointed Prison Inspectors.
    These favoured the "Separate System" of
    stopping prisoners having a bad influence
    on one another, rather than the "Silent System".
    Pentonville (below) used the separate system.
    Victoria Olesen finds marked similarities between Bentham's panopticon plans and the Philadelphia Separate system. Does anyone know of relationships?


    France Jean Étienne Dominique Esquirol's Des maladies mentales, considées sous les rapports medédical, hygienique et médico-légal published in Paris. Translated into English as Mental Maladies. A Treatise on Insanity in 1845 (Philadelphia)

    1840 Insane Prisoners Act

    France: Colonie pénitentiaire de Mettray. (Wikipedia - another link)

    Religion and reformation

    From the end of July to early October 1841: Elizabeth Fry accompanied her brother and others on a tour of Holland, Germany, Prussia and Denmark. She carried with her a letter of introduction from Prince Albert (Queen Victoria's husband) to the King of Prussia. Their meeting was friendly and concluded with Elizabeth urging the king to mark his reign by "the prisons being so reformed that punishment might become the reformation of criminals; by the lower classes being religiously educated; and by the slaves in their colonies being liberated". (Whitney, J. 1937 p.229)

    She visited Copenhagen in August 1841. At this time the Danish Prison Commission of 1840 had come to the conclusion that the Auburn (Silent) model was preferable to the Pensylvania (Separate) system for Denmark. Elizabeth Fry campaigned on the importance of religion to changing criminal behaviour and, as a result of her effort, Denmark built one Auburn model prison (Horsens tugthus - opened in 1853) and one Pennsylvania model (vridsløselille - opened in 1859. [Two other Danish prisons: Blegdammens fængsel opened in 1848, Vestre Fængsel in 1895] (Information from Victoria Olesen, history student, Roskilde University in Denmark)

    1842 Pentonville prison, London - 1842 Act
    (Constructed on the separate system plan - But notice that it is sometimes also called a silent system)
    1842 Treason Act
    1842 Prisons Act
    In the six years after the opening of Pentonville, 54 prisons were built on the same plan. Altogether they provided 11,000 separate cells.
    External link on heating and ventilation of Pentonville (scroll down) - system used at Derby - Illustrated London News - history and hanging - Jebb papers


    Germany Friedrich Engels: The Condition of the Working Class in England

    I have given this a red border in deference to New Criminology, which starts a new theoretical thread (chapter seven) on Marx, Engels and Bonger. Notice, however, Engels use of criminal statistics.

    external link to John Lea on Frederich Engels and the Crime Question

    "Some years ago (Young 1975, p. 78) Jock Young summarised Engels' views on crime as amounting to four alternatives facing the impoverished worker.

    [First] He "... can become so brutalised as to be, in effect, a determined creature."
    [See Engels 1845]
    Secondly he can "accept the prevalent mores of capitalist society, and enter into the war of all against all."
    [See Engels 1845]
    Thirdly, he can steal the property of the rich.
    [See Engels 1845]
    Finally he can struggle for socialism
    [See Engels 1845]

    This classification provides a very useful starting point for an investigation of Engels' treatment of crime."

    You may also like to read John on The return of the dangerous classes

    In 1845, Tawell, a murderer, escaped the police.. and travelled to London by train. The police... telegraphed to Paddington, where he was arrested as he got off the train. The public interest made the electric telegraph a commercial success. See 1910


    Germany Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels: The Communist Manifesto

    "The "dangerous class," the social scum (Lumpenproletariat), that passively rotting mass thrown off by the lowest layers of old society, may here and there be swept into the movement by a proletarian revolution; its conditions of life, however, prepare it far more for the part of a bribed tool of reactionary intrigue. "

    1857 Prison Hulks cease being used

    1861 Criminal Law Consolidation Act
    Death penalty only for:
    murder, treason, mutiny and piracy


    France A. M. Guerry Statistique Morale de l'Anglettere compareé avec la statistique morale de la France (The moral statistics of England compared to those of France)

    Biological Positivism


    Italy Cesare Lombroso's L'uomo delinquente published in Milan. By 1896-1897, when it reached its 5th edition it had three volumes. It was partially translated into English in 1911 as Criminal Man. Lombroso is taken by many as the founder of positive criminology (See dictionary), but the moral statisticians were also seeking ways in which human behaviour is determined - but by society rather than biology.

    Italy Enrico Ferri's Criminal Sociology published in Italian.

    From Spencer to Durkheim: Herbert Spencer's The Principles of Sociology (1876 on) is in the utilitarian tradition. In industrial society, he argues, a network of individual contracts spontaneously organises society. Individuals seeking their own happiness leads to the good of the whole society and the role of government is restricted to deterring self interest from paths that would harm others. Emile Durkheim's The Division of Labour in Society (1893) argued against Spencer that government (especially its legal aspects) would grow in proportion to the increase in the division of labour. They are inter-dependent and the function of both is not greater happiness, but solidarity.


    France Emile Durkheim, in The Division of Labour in Society, provides his sociological definition of crime:

    "crime is ... an act which offends strong and defined states of the collective conscience"

    Read Durkheim's explanation of what he means by collective conscience.
    You could compare this to Rousseau's General Will.

    In The Rules of Sociological Method (1895), he elaborates on this:

    "There cannot be a society in which the individuals do not differ more or less from the collective type", but what confers the character of criminal on deviants "is not the intrinsic quality of a given act but that definition which the collective conscience lends them".

    The more powerful the collective conscience, the more it will suppress divergence. But this does not mean crime will be abolished. Instead, the energy of the collective conscience will be exercised against lesser offence against it. Offenses not previously crimes will become crimes.

    Society needs to penalise acts in order to give more energy to the collective sentiments that they offend. This dialogue between crime and society is necessary to maintain the solidarity of the society. But this is not the only function of crime. Crime is also needed in the evolution of society.

    "Law and morality vary from one social type to the next" and "they change within the same type if the conditions of life are modified". For this to be possible "the collective sentiments at the basis of morality must not be hostile to change". If they are too strong, they will not be plastic enough to be modified. For change to be possible, the collective sentiments must have only moderate energy.

    What Durkheim (probably) did not say:

    I do not think that Durkheim argued crime is a result of the disintegration of society as it moves from a state of togetherness (e.g. mechanical or traditional society) to a state of untogetherness (e.g. organic or market society). This argument is central to Engels' theory of crime. A creative synthesis of the two theories might be very interesting.

    I have not found Durkheim relating anomie to any crime except suicide (then a crime)

    I would like to hear from any reader of Durkheim who can point me to passages suggesting he did argue these positions - (Thank you)

    Italy Enrico Ferri's The Positive School of Criminology published in Italian.

    In 1910, wife-murderer, Dr Crippen, failed to escape from England to Canada because the police were alerted by the ship's radio. (See 1845)

    George Herbert Mead was a lecturer at Chicago University from 1894 until his death in 1931. Robert E. Park taught there from 1914 to 1936. His students included Herbert Blumer. After the second world war, Chicago students included Howard Becker and Erving Goffman.

    The New Criminology identifies "The Chicago School" as a "legacy of positivism. In this, it is speaking of the urban ecology of Robert Park and his colleagues.

    "prior to his appointment as lecturer in the Department of Sociology in 1914, Robert Ezra Park had spent some twenty-five years as a journalist... In the following twenty years, a mass of research was carried out by Park's colleagues and students into what they came to call the social ecology of the city: research into the distribution of areas of work and residence, places of public intervention and private retreat, the extent of illness and health, and the urban concentrations of conformity and deviance. The Chicago School of Sociology, motivated by the journalist's campaigning and documentary concerns, was the example par excellence of determined and detailed empirical social research: a tradition which, for good or ill, is extremely resilient still in most departments of sociology on the north American continent" (Young 1973, p. 110)


    Chicago, USA Introduction to the Science of Sociology by Robert E. Park and Ernest W. Burgess


    Chicago, USA The City by Robert E. Park, Ernest W. Burgess, Roderick D. McKenzie and Louis Wirth. published by University of Chicago Press.


    Chicago, USA Mind, Self and Society, from the Standpoint of a Social Behaviourist, lectures and articles by George Herbert Mead, published by his students.


    Chicago, USA Robert E. Park's "Human ecology" published in the American Journal of Sociology


    Chicago, USA Herbert Blumer coined the term symbolic interactionist for theories developed from Mead.


    USA Robert King Merton's "Social Structure and Anomie" published in the American Sociological Review


    USA Robert King Merton's Social Theory and Social Structure. Towards the codification of theory and research published in United States. Using the 1957 edition, The New Criminology (1973) drew heavily on Merton's idea of anomie. New Criminology says:

    "American society... for Merton, has in practice placed undue emphasis on the goals behind the game, and has neglected ... the necessity for making appropriate means universally available. More specifically, Merton argued that normatively legitimate means have been replaced by (and confused with) technically efficient means, and, in particular, money has been consecrated as a value in itself, over and above its use simply for legitimate consumption. The desire to make money, without regard to the means in which one sets about doing it, is symptomatic of the malintegration at the heart of American society." (page 93)


    USA Talcott Parson's The Social System published in United States. This included Parson's description of the sick role as, in important respects, "deviant"

    Parsons' system appears an important theoretical background to "deviancy theory", but he is not indexed in The Drugtakers and mentioned almost in passing in The New Criminology


    USA Richard Cloward and Lloyd Ohlin's Delinquency and Opportunity: a Theory of Delinquent Gangs

    New Criminology describes Cloward and Ohlin as theorists of subcultures:

    "The subculture theorists, following Merton [considered] the existence of anomie implied that cultural goals were widely diffused and internalised, but there was no corresponding internalisation (or institutionalisation) of the means of achieving them" (page 133)


    Britain Hans Jürgen Eysenck: Crime and Personality

    "in analysing the mechanisms by which genetic potentialities are translated into criminal behaviour in particular and, and social action in general, and in fully acknowledging the interplay of environmental factors, Hans Eysenck's formulations have a distinct advantage over other biological interpretations of society" (New Criminology p.47)

    Criminology for Criminals

    In the 1960s and 1970s, deviancy theory took a special interest in looking at the world through the eyes of the deviant.

    "To live outside the law you must be honest
    I know you always say that you agree
    Alright, so where are you tinight...?"
    Bob Dylan: "Absolutely Sweet Marie" quoted as the frontispiece to
    The New Criminology


    USA Howard Becker's "Whose Side are We On?" published in Social Problems

    Late 1960s United Kingdom National Deviancy Symposium formed

    1971 United Kingdom Jock Young The Drugtakers. The Social Meaning of Drug Use published as a Paladin paperback. Jock Young was "Senior lecturer in sociology at Enfield College of Technology and a member of the National Symposium in Deviancy, a radical group of criminologists" [Yes... It does say "in deviancy"]


    United Kingdom Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young published The New Criminology: For a Social Theory of Deviance. Acknowledgements: "This book is fundamentally the product of discussions and developments in and around the National Deviancy Conference, a growing body of sociologists and individuals involved in social action in the United Kingdom"

    Critical Criminology: External link: Dave Harris . This includes links to notes on some of The New Criminology and on some of Critical Criminology


    United Kingdom New directions in sub-cultural theory, by Jock Young, published in John Rex's introduction to major trends in British sociology


    France (English Translation 1977:) Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison

    United Kingdom
    Critical Criminology

    What is to Be Done?


    United Kingdom Free-market/Authoritarian Right win control of UK Government. (See social science timeline)


    United Kingdom Saturday 11.4.1981: Swamp 81 against black crime in Brixton began. Serious riot followed. Start of the "worst civil unrest seen on British streets this century." During the summer the rioting spread to Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.


    United Kingdom Ian Taylor's Law and Order: Arguments for Socialism


    United Kingdom What is to be Done About Law and Order - Crisis in the Eighties by John Lea and Jock Young published as a Penguin paperback. Chapter 8 A Realistic Approach to Law and Order spoke about

    "a schizophrenia about crime on the left where crimes against women and immigrant groups were quite rightly an object of concern, but other types of crime were regarded as being of little interest or somehow excusable."


    Centre for Criminology established at Middlesex Polytechnic (later University) to develop interdisciplinary research into crime and the criminal justice system


    United Kingdom The increase in crime in England and Wales during the present government 1979-1986 with comparisons with the 1975-1978 period by Jock Young, Middlesex Polytechnic Centre for Criminology

    John Lea: Left Realism: A Defence

    Cultural Critiques: Once Durkheim asks the question "what is crime", and answers it in relation to the whole society, there is the possibility that the study of crime will become a study of society. John Lea finds the same possibility in Marx and Engels. The scope of criminology becomes global: Frank Pearce analyses concepts of socialism in the light of durkheimian and marxist approaches to crime. Jayne Mooney and Jock Young discuss celebrity culture and the celebration of crime. Ian Taylor puts "crime in context" in "A Critical Criminology of Market Societies". John Lea's talk to the Middlesex University Criminology Society is given here as an example of criminology analysing a global issue.


    Frank Pearce's The Radical Durkheim analysed the crime theories of Engels and Marx and their followers along with those of Durkheim and Jock Young and his colleagues in relation to the theoretical possibility that crime might be eliminated under socialism.


    November 1990 United Kingdom Margaret Thatcher replaced by John Major as Conservative Prime Minister.

    Roger Matthews and Jock Young Issues in Realist Criminology and Rethinking Criminology: The Realist Debate "A companion volume to Issues in realist criminology edited by Roger Matthews and Jock Young". Sage Contemporary Criminology series. London: Sage


    John Lea: Criminology and postmodernity What is postmodernity?
    "How are ruling and subordinate groups and classes in society actually deploying criminal law and criminalisation?"


    May 1997 United Kingdom New Labour Prime Minister elected to be "tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime"

    John Lea: From integration to exclusion: the development of crime prevention policy in the United Kingdom


    United Kingdom The New Criminology Revisited: A collection of articles edited by Paul Walton and Jock Young.


    United Kingdom Ian Taylor's Crime in Context. A Critical Criminology of Market Societies

    United Kingdom Jock Young's The Exclusive Society: Social Exclusion, Crime and Difference in Late Modernity London; Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications

    19.1.2001 Death of Ian Taylor [external link to Jock Young's memorial of Ian in The Guardian]

    Peter Kennison, Policing Black People: A Study of Ethnic Relations as Seen Through the Police Complaints System Middlesex University, 2001 PhD thesis.

    12.11.2002-16.11.2002 The 2002 American Society of Criminology Conference at The University of Pennsylvania included Critical Criminology in the Twenty First Century: Critique, Irony and the Always Unfinished by Jock Young and Celebrity, Late Modernity and the Celebration of Crime by Jayne Mooney and Jock Young.


    Peter Kennison and David Swinden, Behind the Blue Lamp: Policing North and East London

    2004: Criminology and History John Lea's internet guide.

    12.4.2005 Terrorism, Crime and the collapse of Civil Liberties: John Lea's address to the Criminology Society at Middlesex University.

    Better than the Albert Hall

    "I could not be happier with an audience of thousands in the Albert Hall", John Lea told the Middlesex University Criminology Society in the Lecture Theatre on Enfield Campus in April 2005.

    John Lea

    Students and staff were equally pleased to listen to one the world's most cited criminologists make every part of his lecture clear and fascinating - Just as he has at every lecture since I first heard him thirty five years ago.

    John's topic, "Terrorism, Crime and the Collapse of Civil Liberties" began with an exposition of one law. He explained clearly the constitutional arguments against the United Kingdom's 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act.

    Although it "might be argued that terrorism is a special case and requires special measures", John outlined other erosions of established legal safeguards in a succession of United Kingdom criminal laws.

    By now anxious about the open, legal state, we slipped into a greater state of anxiety as John explored law's intersection with the global secret state. He talked about "the formation of a new type of globalised system of coercive information extraction" since the destruction of the World Trade Centre in September 2001 and the subsequent war to control Afghanistan. The first stage was establishing Guantánamo Bay in Cuba for the reception of those to be interrogated - And claiming it as an area of United States administration outside the protection of United States law and, in certain respects, outside of international law. The secret state seeks to be secret, but John claimed enough has been revealed about Guantánamo to recognise it as intersecting with UK law and security, and not just the responsibility of the United States. British citizens recently released from Guantánamo have said that they were interviewed by British security service (MI6) officers whilst they were there.

    Since the US legal system has asserted its jurisdiction over any territory administered by the United States, Guantánamo's usefulness has declined and has been replaced by a system of truly international interrogation. John documented reports of large numbers of people who "disappear" and are sent for interrogation in countries where the US courts cannot reach them.

    "There are now possibly up to 10,000 ghost detainees in this new global system of incarceration and interrogation and permanent detention without trial".

    This secret international system intersects with the provisions of national law openly debated and processed through Parliament. The 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act allows the Home Secretary to issue a control order on the basis of "reasonable suspicion" that someone is involved in terrorist activity. John argued that "some of the evidence" leading to this suspicion may come, via the UK security services, from the USA. "In short, evidence extracted by coercive interrogation may find itself into the working of the new British anti-terror regime".

    By focusing on one law and its inter-relationships, John sought to show that the threat to civilised, liberal, society is much much wider than one law.

    Part of his argument, somewhat mysteriously called "trickle up", is that "anti-terrorist" developments are not a simple response to terrorism, but a single feature of a general turning away from the "steady growth in the stability of international legality" since the second world war. They are just one element in the move towards what international lawyer Philip Sands has called "A Lawless World" (Sands 2005). The dirty water also "trickles down", contaminating public standards and expectations of the rule of law, and undermining liberty in areas unrelated to terrorism. What we are looking at, according to John's title, is a "collapse of civil liberties".

    Our pond of national law now sloshes about in a global ocean. Placing UK law in the context of the global secret state was a strength of John's analysis. Its inevitable weakness was not having time to place that in the context of a changing world political structure. What began as criticism of a single national law, ended, for me, with unanswered questions about the fate of liberty in a post-national world and what international measures might defend it.

    "Terrorism, Crime and the Collapse of Civil Liberties" is available as work in progress at http://www.bunker8.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/misc/terror.htm.

    John Lea's talk was the third in a series of well-attended events organised by Middlesex University Criminological Society this year. Student organiser Fitzroy Maxwell (Max), who has himself given enormous enthusiasm and energy to organising the events, credited their success to team work.

    29.11.2005 Crime and the Community


    Crime and Conflict Research Centre developed by sociologists and criminologists at Middlesex University

    Monday 6.3.2006: Crime and Conflict Research Centre website live at http://www.mdx.ac.uk/hssc/research/csccc/index.htm

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