It can be said that most Americans have a tenuous relationship to our criminal laws. Few of us have a sense of just how many criminal statutes can be brought to bear on our lives, an excuse to limit our freedom and movement should a representative of the state decide it is our turn to fall under the thumb of enforcement. Police management scholar Michael Wood was previouslIt can be said that most Americans have a tenuous relationship to our criminal laws. Few of us have a sense of just how many criminal statutes can be brought to bear on our lives, an excuse to limit our freedom and movement should a representative of the state decide it is our turn to fall under the thumb of enforcement. Police management scholar Michael Wood was previously one of those state representatives, having served 11 years as an officer, narcotics detective, and Sergeant in the Baltimore Police Department. During that period, Wood came to see how racism was entrenched in the enforcement of law, rendering rules that ostensibly serve to keep society safe an arbitrary exercise of power and (structural) prejudice. Additionally, he came to see just how many laws granted him leave to exercise that power on behalf of prejudice, providing him a ready arsenal of charges he could level at citizens any time his arrest numbers were too low for comfort (arrests, after all, being the principal metric by which police officer performance and effectiveness are judged). For a number of years now, Wood has been advocating for an approach to police organization that would allow citizens greater say in the goals and desired outcomes of policing, leaving police professionals to implement those goals. His model, known as Civilian-Led Policing, establishes a citizen board weighted in favor of those communities that receive the greatest amount of enforcement action in order to ensure that those who are most policed have a voice in the development of goals that are ultimately about them. In Crimes and Punishments: In the 21st Century, Wood lays out a number of the principles that underlie his approach to police organization, principles which generally hew closely to extant research about human psychology, and reject classical assumptions about human rationality and free will. On Crimes and Punishments: In the 21st Century attempts to centralize this postmodern insight about humans in our approach to the problem of law. Thus, rather than think about law as a set of rules based on true, rational conclusions about humanity and the world, Wood challenges us to think about law as a tool for enabling the joint construction of that system in which all humans operate: society. Put another way, law is here treated as a tool for enabling human cooperation, not protecting against violations of natural or civil right, which has often had the consequence of rendering law, and especially criminal law, a purely punitive exercise. The work takes its title, and its lead, from Cesare Beccaria’s On Crimes and Punishment, an Enlightenment-era essay that influenced the evolution of criminal law in our own American context, rejecting some aspects of Beccaria’s thought while embracing others, particularly Beccaria’s prescription that laws which unnecessarily limit human freedom are also tyrannical. If human beings are defined by the cooperation that is the foundation of society, then how should we think about law, and how should we treat those whose actions inhibit our shared approach to society? We know punishment does not deter crime, nor does it produce greater commitment to shared social systems, but rather often makes participation in such systems even more difficult for the ‘offender.’ Wood challenges us to let go of any social demand for punishment, recognizing that this demand undermines the goal of society itself, and instead asks us to look skeptically at our social contract, rather than reverently. If our social contract is an object of suspicion, then we ought to be more willing to alter its features as its limitations come to the fore, rather than reflexively defend aspects that hinder cooperation on the basis that they are ‘right’ or ‘true;’ or worse, tha...
|Title||:||Crimes & Punishments: In the 21st Century|
|Number of Pages||:||280 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|