politics of cj

Politics of cj - Although law and order has always been of significant importance for the role of the state it was not until the 1960s that crime

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Although law and order has always been of significant importance for the role of the state, it was not until the 1960’s that crime became an important part of political party’s manifestos (Downes and Morgan, 1997, p 288; James and Raine, 1998, p 17-19). It can be seen from research that political factors do influence the criminal justice system, however it is important to note to what extent. Criminal Justice is liable to changing due to the nature of political positions, ideologies and party politics (James and Raine, 1998, p 86). To a large extent it could be seen that changing governments in itself may be seen as the biggest influence on criminal justice as each government brings with them individual ideologies, values and philosophies which will inevitably shape policy and criminal justice (James and Raine, 1998, p 17- 19). Within the 1990’s the government’s role itself was changing, a focus on managing punishment became important and there was a preoccupation with sentencing (James and Raine, 1998, p 25) There was a general welfare consensus that focusing on social issues and disadvantage focused too much on individual behaviour, and new thinking suggested that crime was a result of calculated risks, and therefore personal responsibility which fitted in more with a new market approach to criminal justice (James and Raine, 1998, p 27-29). During this time the politics of law and order became increasingly punitive in an attempt to move towards a more justice based approach of penal policy (Downes and Morgan, 1997, p 297). In 1993 the Conservative Home Sectary, Michael Howard, declared ‘prison works’ a sharp contrast to the dominant welfare approach, challenging the previous Conservative Home Sectary who suggested ‘prison only makes bad people worse’ (James and Raine, 1998, p 12) a move that was significant after the Conservatives saw deteriorating support from voters after the 1992 election (Downes and Morgan, 1997, p 296). The Labour party, or more importantly the re-branded New Labour party has been seen to have a significant reposition in regards to policy. After the 1979 general election the Conservatives accused labour of being soft on crime, New Labour desperately tried to distance themselves from old party policies including the rejection of many welfare state commitments. (Downes and Morgan, 1997, p 299; Alcock, 2003, p 11) After Tony Blair’s selection as the labour party leader, he famously stated in 1994 that New Labour would be ‘tough on crime and tough on the causes of crime’ (Davies, Croall and Tyrer, 1998, p 357) later in 1997 New Labour declared in a white paper No More Excuses that there would be a greater emphasis on ‘responsibilisation’ of both young people and their parents (Downes and Morgan, 1997, p 299) New Labour proclaimed to be the party of ‘law and order’ (Downes and Morgan, 1997, p 292 ) Blair (1998, p 10) suggested a ‘third way’ of policy, based
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This note was uploaded on 02/25/2012 for the course CJ 2350 taught by Professor Todd during the Fall '08 term at Texas State.

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Politics of cj - Although law and order has always been of significant importance for the role of the state it was not until the 1960s that crime

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