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Radical and Critical Criminology

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Christopher Groom

on 7 November 2013

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Transcript of Radical and Critical Criminology

Radical and Critical Criminology
Left Realism
Right Realism
Focuses on crime control not the causes of crime
Offers ‘realistic’ approaches or solutions
Murray developed extreme theories for how to tackle crime in the lower class
Ignores crimes committed by the upper class
Thomson, “The lowest tenth of the population should be institutionalised to stop them reproducing.”
Tanya Goodwin, Christopher Groom, Michael Hardy, Hannah Higgins
No definition of crime.
Focuses on economic crime, working class are victimized.
Is realist theory taking crime seriously?
Does not tackle female criminal behavior.
Does not explain crimes traditionally seen as targeting women, such as rape.
over reliance on statistics and surveys.

Guardian (January 2013) : “69% of MPs say they are underpaid” MP’s shouldn’t be allowed to vote as part of their job, for higher pay. All this while those on benefits are now £195.52 a year worse off (Guardian Jan’ ‘13).
MP’s released from prison early Elliot Morley served 4 months of his 16 month sentence while John Harvey (unemployed) was sentenced for 32 months. A gap in justice. (Daily Mail)
Guardian July 2012: HSBC, evidence they allowed mass money laundering by Iran (12 billion) ordered to pay back just 1.2 billion in fines.
Middle class crimes- forgery and fraud 14 billion – fives time more than burglary. (The Guardian)
Radical criminology
Radical Criminology came from Marxism and this theory is based on “Instrumental Marxism”.
This theory originates from the UK rather than America.
The theory is based on the idea that crime is caused by the social economic forces in society.
Critical criminology
Similar to Marxism in it’s conflict perspective with other theories
Groups a wide range of work together. This theory of criminology
looks at crime as a result of ‘opression’ within social classes and in
particular focuses on workers from the working social class.
A fresh perspective on criminology, looking at the effects the economy and politics have on crime.
Barkan in 1997 estimated cost of white-collar crime in USA to be 40 billion compared to 13 billion in street crime.
Relevant especially in the last 5 years with the economic collapse with the banks, MP expenses and multi-coportations stealing billions
Theory is still used today
Crimes of the powerful
Takes a step back and looks at the different classes and doesn’t follow the clique of crime being amongst all the lower classes.
The radical theory typically involves the critique of capitalist societies.
This can be proven in research and statistics.
Research commissioned by the Association of Chief Officers of Probation, found that young offenders are invariably poor.
FBI reports that economic conditions and poverty levels are factors that are known to affect crime.
Helping the Poor
Guardian reported an increase of 14% in homelessness and 23% in rough sleeping
Approximately 2 to 3 million people experience an episode of homelessness during a given year (Caton, et al., 2005).
10,108 people from 2009 to mid-2012 were booked into jail with no home address listed or with addresses listed as "homeless".
Homeless people are sitting in jails for days and weeks for crimes like urinating in public, and taxpayers are picking up the check of around $118 a day .
The Labour Government increased funding for homeless shelters due to them actually realising how much in poverty some people were.
Critical Development
In 1973, authors Ian Taylor, Paul Walton and Jock Young reviewed the major theories of criminology and found them to be lacking in different areas.
Created a new position of criminal theory based on marxism and the radical theory. It is variously called critical criminology, working-class criminology or neo-Marxist criminology.
“Single book which is capable in succeeding in making criminology intellectually serious and professionally respectable”.
Analysis of social organisation, power and exploitation have had a powerful impact on the idea of criminal behaviour and are still used today.
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