Inequality Essay

Inequality Essay

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In any society, actions taken in the name of the nation state need to
be seen as ‘just’ in order to preserve legitimacy. When they are not
seen as just then we get discontent and then often challenges to the
authority of the state.

We could argue that in simple terms, society is held together in part,
by a type of social contract whereby individuals agree to abide by
state law in return for the protection of the state. In order for this
to work however, the majority of people would need to believe both
that the law is generally beneficial to them, and that the
administration of the law is fair and just.

The presence of inequality in this process would suggest that some
have a more fair and just experience than others, which is potentially
problematic in as much that it causes dissatisfaction amongst some

However, what do we mean by fair and just?

This might depend upon our perspective on what should shape criminal
justice…How ideology penetrates the CJS.

Stepping back from the CJS

Gelsthorpe (2001 p105-6)[1] suggests that there are six key competing
perspectives, which influence how the system is, or should be run.
These are:

Due process Crime control Welfare and rehabilitative
Critical socio-legal Bureaucratic Management

When we look at CJ policy we will see how these pervade that policy.
Explain four most significant to this lecture.

Due Process: Associated with the Legal profession: ‘Formal equality
before the law’

* Justice should be administered according to publicly known legal
rules and procedures, which must be seen as just.

* The co...

... middle of paper ...

...x, S. (1987) Recession, crime and punishment. London: MacMillan.

Box, S. (1983) Power Crime and Mystification. London: Routledge.

Coleman C. & J. Moynihan (1996) Understanding Crime Data: Haunted by
the dark figure. Buckingham: OUP.

Gelsthorpe, L. (2001) ‘Critical Decisions in the Criminal Courts’ in
E. McLaughlin and J. Muncie (eds) Controlling Crime. London: Sage.

Garland D. and R.A. Duff (1994) A reader in punishment. Oxford: Oxford
Univ Press. (Carlen’s chapter)

Nash M. (1999) Police probation and protecting the public. London:
Blackstone Press.

Reiner R. (2000) The politics of the police. Oxford: Oxford university

Wilson, D. & J. Ashton (1998) What everyone in Britain should know
about Crime and Punishment. London: Blackstone Press.

[1] Derived from Packer 1969 and King 1981.

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