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Role of Civil Sanctions in Social Control: A Socio-legal Examination (From Civil Remedies and Crime Prevention, P 21-43, 1998, Lorraine Green Mazerolle and Jan Roehl, eds. - See NCJ-175510)

NCJ Number
S L R Anleu
Date Published
23 pages
Theoretical aspects of the proliferation of civil remedies for crime prevention are examined in the context of the history of social control mechanisms generally, including the general worldwide trend toward using alternative means such as insurance to control crime and social behavior.
The analysis notes that informal social control managed deviance and was embedded in social relations in ways that were unplanned, unconscious, automatic, private, and often diffuse. In contrast, formal social control, which was most closely associated with the criminal justice system, was planned, specific, public, and oriented to specific individuals for their punishment or rehabilitation. Many theorists, including Durkheim and Black, argue that formal social control will gradually take over more of the responsibility of crime control in contemporary society. Durkheim also points to the shift from repressive to restitutive law. Current interest in crime prevention again focuses on social relations as sources of crime management. Using civil sanctions to encourage, influence, require, and even coerce people to modify what are perceived to be opportunities for crime commission is an example. Crime management is more indirect, more private, and more diffuse and thus is similar to earlier descriptions of informal social control. One new developments in crime control is the establishment of alternative tribunals that are less formal than criminal courts and that provide opportunities for community participation, mediation, and negotiation. Other new developments include situational crime prevention initiatives and the increased role of insurance. Case examples from Australia, notes, and 54 references (Author abstract modified)