We Never Promised Them a Rose Garden

  • Monika Platek


As we approach the year 2000 and look back over 200 years of penal reform we are forced to admit that the fundamental problems of imprisonment are much the same today as they were in the past. It is time, therefore, to enquire whether we have been asking the wrong question. When thinking of penal reform we have concentrated on changing the prison itself. We have been preoccupied with asking the question of what is wrong with the prison system instead of asking the critical question of how society produces a system of punishment which relies so heavily on a system of imprisonment, which itself exhibits so many problems. It is well known that prison mirrors society and that systems of punishment reflect the level of evolution and maturation (Foucault, 1977; Rusche and Kirchheimer, 1969). By investigating this two-way process we are able to move beyond the usual concentration on the internal operation of prisons and formulate a broader perspective that can incorporate the wider social processes that shape, and that are shaped by imprisonment.


Violent Crime Crime Prevention Crime Control Prison Population Prison System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Roger Matthews and Peter Francis 1996

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  • Monika Platek

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