How Iron is the Iron Cage of New Penology? The Role of Human Agency in the Implementation of Criminal Justice Policy
Punishment & Society: The International Journal of Penology, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 313-340, 2006
29 Pages Posted: 22 Aug 2009 Last revised: 24 Nov 2011
Date Written: April 13, 2009
This article addresses the extent to which the concept of ‘new penology’ is helpful in understanding penal currents, particularly as they relate to the older paradigms of retribution and rehabilitation. In the light of theoretical, historical and empirical evidence, support is lent to the arguments: that the new penology thesis downplays the role of human agency at the level of implementing criminal justice policies; that it ignores the potentially positive aspects of managerialism; and that it misses the continuity between past and contemporary penal features. It is concluded that, despite its merits, new penology remains a hypothesis, rather than a realized penal rationale.
Keywords: actuarialism, human agency, managerialism, new penology, resistance
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