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"Thug in Jail Can't Shoot Your Sister": Examining the Unintended Consequences of Imprisonment

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 1996
143 pages
These papers discuss the impact of incarceration on communities' capacity to form social control functions and discuss a community justice model in terms of the philosophy and strategy involved.
The first paper explores the possibility that an increased reliance on formal controls may impeded the effectiveness of informal controls. To be effective, informal controls depend on functioning family, political, and economic systems. Informal controls both rely on and promote large supplies of both human and social capital. However, both theory and empirical data support the notion that excessive social controls in the form of incarceration threaten communities' capacity to form social and human capital by damaging the family, political, and economic systems that perform social control functions. The result may be a decreased ability to address crime. The second paper presents the practical case for greater community involvement in criminal justice, the philosophical basis for community-oriented criminal justice, and a model for a community-oriented justice practice. Figures and reference lists

Date Published: January 1, 1996