Encyclopedia of Criminology and Criminal Justice

2014 Edition
| Editors: Gerben Bruinsma, David Weisburd

Institutional Theories of Punishment

  • Joachim J. Savelsberg
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-5690-2_482



Long- and midterm changes in punitive attitudes and penal practices can only be understood by taking complex interactions between multiple social forces into account. Statistical analyses show that many factors are at work (Jacobs/Jackson 2010), while theoretically informed studies provide an in-depth understanding of the role played by specific conditions such as everyday life experiences (Garland 2001), including economic conditions and racial/ethnic conflict (Wacquant 2009), elite strategies (Beckett 1997; Simon 2007), and long-term cultural patterns (Melossi 2001; Savelsberg 2004; Whitman 2003). Recent literature, following earlier suggestions (Savelsberg 1994, 1999), has drawn special attention to the institutional arrangements under which ideas regarding crime and punishment are generated and penal decisions are made...

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Recommended Reading and References

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolisUSA