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Law Enforcement and Corrections

Preventive detention

Columbia Law School

2013

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Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2013

Punitive Preventive Justice: A Critique, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

This chapter identifies the origins of contemporary preventive endeavour in the work of the RAND Corporation in America, which developed highly technical studies of crime prevention based upon systems analysis. It suggests that RAND promoted a decidedly punitive style of prevention based upon policing and punishment that is replicated in modern ‘punitive preventive measures’. It criticizes these measures, emphasizing the perils they pose and the weakness of their empirical foundations. Most worryingly, these measures typically claim an apolitical, neutral emphasis on efficiency that fails to engage with the political values underlying them. In so doing, it tends to displace much …