To what extent has actuarial Justice displaced traditional penal practice in contemporary societies? The displacement of traditional methods of penal practice within contemporary societies in favor of the more risk orientated model of actuarial Justice has proved a contentious issue amongst academic and political discourse and still remains an arena of vigorous debate.
The discussion surrounding the progressive area of actuarial Justice may be seen to provide opposing arguments of equal weight and pertinence within modern structures of national criminal Justice systems throughout the globe; however the construction and application of this theoretical model of criminal Justice may differ amongst societies and have heterogeneous effects in combination with differential cultural, economic and ideological conditions.
The concept and practice of actuarial Justice will first be considered and the way it subsequently departs from more traditional procedures of penal practice, primarily analyzing western society, with a particular focus upon the British model of criminal Justice. The arguments suggesting that contemporary societies are indeed transposing conventional To what extent has actuarial justice displaced rotational penal practice in contemporary societies?
By definitions offender) towards an acknowledgment of potential risky and dangerous populations as a whole and the consequential strategies of management will subsequently be discussed. Case representations of the way in which differential executions of the same model of actuarial Justice may vary between societies and the disparate consequences they deliver will additionally be considered to highlight the divergent viewpoints and debates encompassing actuarial Justice.
Drawing upon the various outcomes actuarial Justice may be argued to impose, with specific preference to the implementation of the indeterminate sentence for public protection (IPP), the debate accentuating the harms and inequalities which are promoted within particular models of actuarial Justice and thus the argument that on the whole many traditional methods have not been displaced in favor of this new risk penology shall be assessed.
The concept of actuarial Justice is the process whereby future threats and risks posed by offenders to society are calculated and as such play a dominant role in contributing to prevention techniques and policing which endeavourer to respond to such perceived risk accordingly. Actuarial Justice assumes that deviance within society is habitual and will remain as normalization, viewed as directly resultant of modern society.
By this standard, it adopts the position of crime prevention through risk assessment, with a focus upon larger populations deemed dangerous to society opposed to the established approach of criminal Justice which places the individual and their specific offence as preeminent. It is through the depart of individualistic to generalization which has shaped the management techniques associated with actuarial Justice. It can be argued that this model of Justice is consequently unconcerned with the reformation of offenders, instead seeks to filter particular groups through pathways within the Justice system dependent upon their risk profile.
As such it is possible to deduce that actuarial Justice is primarily concerned with the existing and future threat posed upon society by offenders, making the paramount concern crime prevention and constraining lawbreaking activity contrary to providing a suitable response and the comprehension factors contributing to individual criminality. The debate and evidence promoting the implication that actuarial Justice is indeed displacing rotational penal methods is one which is widely and comprehensively presented within both academic and political discourse.
Giddiness (1994) proffers the suggestion that societies are to a greater extent preoccupied with the notion of future risk, which may be seen as a by-product of the increased threat posed within the post modern world. Giddiness and Beck (date) refer to this focus upon sustained safety and prevention of future threat the ‘risk society, in which social allegiance to the nation state is dissolved marked by a lack of reverence in traditional institutions and an ascendancy of global forces. Reflexive deterioration, described as the possibility of a creative (self-)destruction for an entire epoch: that of industrial society.
The ‘subject’ of this creative destruction is not the revolution, not the crisis, but the victory of Western modernization’ (Beck, date, app). Concept which undercuts the formations of, for example, class, gender and occupation within the social hierarchy, imposing self-confrontation with the consequences of risk society which may no longer be managed under the practices of industrial societies ‘institutionalized standards’. The paradigm presented by risk society therefore is the split from the retention of the nation state to one of constructing individuals as responsible for their own safety and risk management.
The term ‘advanced liberal’ is deployed by Rose (1996) to further emphasis this social shift, away from the explicit power of the nation state to one which governance is achieved ‘at arm’s length’, promoting greater independence and need for increased individual responsibilities. This sporadic governance of society is one which is still primarily concerned with the notion of risk and the probability of its subsequent effect, exposing the aggregate populations which are identified as presenting danger society.
The focus shifted to an increased managerial approach to crime, aimed at reducing the rate of potential offences and eliminating the presence of ‘carcinogenic situations’ (Garland, 1996). This is argued to have marked a divergence from rehabilitative responses targeted at individual offenders, to the generalized management to particular sections of the population (Simon and Feely, 1992). No longer viewing offenders in a manner akin traditional criminal Justice responses, understanding their motives and experiences consequently in need of reformation and treatment but as universal group of potential harm.