Criminal justice policy and the psychology of peacemaking

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Abstract

Psychology which once was a primary influence on the development of criminal justice policy has, in recent decades, lost much of its ability to inform how laws and policies are made that concern punishment and social control. The reason for psychology's loss of inluence can be traced to the war on crime political rhetoric adopted by politicians and criminal justice administrators. This paper argues that an emerging peacemaking perspective in the criminal justice system allows the discipline of psychology to once again inform the discourse on criminal justice policy. Issues such as drug abuse, gun control, and capital punishment are appropriate subjects for a psychological perspective in the national debate on criminal justice policy.