indice


Karagiannidis 1 Needless to say that the term abolitionism stands for a social movement, a theoretical criminological perspective (penal abolitionism) and a political strategy (Haan, 1990).
2 What can we expect from a criminology that dedicates itself to surveys like «who are the most influential criminologist?» and so on? Isn't this a clear proof for the existence of conformity and state of decadence for criminology? Cohn and Faringthon (1990 and 1994) made a survey by using citation in four journals and produced rankings of the most cited criminologists (!). But what means influence? Is a citation a valid and reliable measure of influence? And of course what's the point for such a survey? For a nice critique, see Heidensohn and Silvestri, 1998.
3 According to Vincenzo Ruggiero (1999), Professor of Sociology in Middlesex University, abolitionists have themselves a background that varies from religious to anarchist approaches. Thus Louk Hulsman has more religious and theological approaches, Thomas Mathiesen is rather a materialist with an active Marxist point of view and finally Nils Christie is libertarian with an anarcho- communitarian point of departure. I will strongly agree with this opinion although I noticed some religious sperms of thinking in Nils Christie's work (e.g. «Limits to Pain»). Moreover it must be noticed that during the interview with Jacqueline Bernat de Celis, Louk Hulsman, the Dutch abolitionist lawyer and criminologist, harshly criticized the catholic church.
4 See however Sebastian Scheerer's critique (1986: 9-l0).
5 Therefore, I will strongly disagree with Willem de Haan who notes that «neither Left Realism nor abolitionism is consistent paradigms, let alone coherent theories. They are merely approaches entailing certain attitudes and points of view. Whereas the former deals particularly with the issue of crime, the latter concentrates on the issue of punishment» (Haan, 1990: 6).
6 Crime pays: In Britain two out of three households are insured compared with just one in five in 1970 (BBC News, October 13, 1998). Are «fear of crime» policies on the side of insurance companies? On the other hand, in the United States of America, the government is now renovating military basis into prisons, so that former military communities will continue to have an industry (Muntaquin, 1995).
7 For a comprehensive study on the anarchist movement see Joll, 1964.
8 However, according to Rene Van Swaaningen «in general anarchists do not point their arrows greatly at criminal law» (1997: 132). I will disagree; anarchists' philosophers point their arrows to state law in general, let alone at criminal law. See Chris McDonald (1997) «The Revolutionary Underclass of Bakunin and Marcuse» Anarchist Studies, 5, pp. 3-21.
9 According to Dimopoulos (1989) abolitionism as a movement (abolitionsbewegung) inspired by the radical writings of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Proudhon, Burke and Lassalle.
10 The critical criminology's vocabulary in general is full of alternatives for concepts like «crime» and «punishment», (see Haan, 1990: 157).
11 In this respect, penal abolitionism does not rely on the court system. According to Thomas Mathiesen «political work should not be left to the lawyers in court, and non-lawyers should not rely on a transformation of politics into law» (1983: 11).
12 As Richard Quinney recently concluded (1994), «all human perception is subjects to the lived experience of everyday life».
13 This was exactly the answer of -although not abolitionist- the critical criminologist Richard Quinney (Northern Illinois University) to the critique Taylor, Walton and Young in their influential book «The New Criminology». The latter wrote as a critique to Quinney's book «The Social Reality of Crime» that: «Many of Quinney's statements about a theoretical orientation to the social reality of crime seem to be the product more of the author's own existential Angst than they are the result of a clear-headed theoretical analysis».
14 In this respect, many of the abolitionist texts I utilised in order to get the basic conceptual information on Abolitionism were texts like «Limits to Pain», «The Politics of Abolition», «The Unwise Sentences», «Prison on Trial»; part text-books and part personal accounts.
15 Needless to say that Karl Marx did not engage with the concept of crime in a pure criminological point of view. See however, F. Engels (1974) «The situation of the working class in England» A-B, Athens: Byron.
16 See also the note no. 11 in the introduction by Eric Hobsbawm (page 14); «it is not the consciousness of men that determines their existence, but, on the contrary, it is their social existence that determines their consciousness» (Preface to «The Critique of Political Economy»).
17 According to Quinney (1975: 182), the scientific objectivity is assumed possible because of the belief that an order exists independent of the observer.
18 As an introduction for the understanding of the power of the «unfinished» of abolitionism, I would suggest the study of Hermann Hesse's (1954) «Pictors Verwandlungen», Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt am Main.; not a criminological text exactly, but for sure an essential reading.
19 In an abolitionist point of view, the study of the concept of crime and the demonstration of the non- existence of such thing is a priority, a primary truth. And the reason for naming it as a primary truth is exactly the fact that it was discovered ultimately. The disclaimer of the concept of crime is the brightest achievement for critical criminology.
20 However, the need to discard concepts as «crime», «punishment» and ‘guilt» is not so new for criminology. It was «at the Hamburg Congress of Criminologists in 1905, (when) van Hamel, a reputable representative of the sociological school, declared that the main obstacles to modern criminology were the three concepts of guilt, crime and punishment. If we freed ourselves of these concepts, he added, everything would be better» (Pashukanis, E. as quoted in Lea, J., 1999)
21 Penal abolitionism suggests to adopt an anascopic view, i.e. a bottom-up approach, instead of a catascopic, i.e. a top- down, approach from the life world (Swaaningen, 1995: 128).
22 However, see Left Realist critique in Matthews, R. and Young, J. (1992). «Reflections on Realism» in Rethinking Criminology - The Realist Debate. London: Sage Publications, p. 8 (in fine).
23 An opinion that finds the left realist Professor John Lea in agreement (oral communication for the needs of this dissertation, June 1999).
24 The paper presented by abolitionist Catherine Baker (France) has been published only in Greece [Discordia Publications, Athens (in Greek)]. However, a copy is obtainable from: Rene Van Swaaningen, Criminologisch Instituut der Vrije Universiteit P.O. Box 7161, 1007 MC Amsterdam. the Netherlands.
25 According to Professor loannis Manoledakis (University of Thessaloniki, Greece), «the punishment, i.e. the way that an organised community reacts to crime, ideologically define and culturally characterise the community itself' (1989:7).
26 Foucault wonders «is the court a form of secular justice or is it more a distigurement of it?» and he easily concludes that «whenever, the bourgeois-class wanted to repress an uprising act, a court was raised» (Foucault, 1987: 11-22).
27 It is also true that prison functions in a positive way for some non-political prisoners; in the course of their imprisonment, and due to the social conditions they experience, begin to develop a political class consciousness.
28 Mark Poster made an interesting observation on Foucault's remarkable work on the birth of prison; «the texture of his history of prisons is choppy, disconnected, even arbitrary. But there is a reason for this peculiar approach. Foucault takes his topic, prison systems, and in Nietzschean fashion goes in time until he finds a point where the prevailing penal practice looks to modern eyes ridiculous, without sense, irrational. The degree of intellectual discomfort is a measure of the difference of that from our own» (Poster, 1984: 95-96).
29 For a historical overview by graphs of the growth in United States' correctional population, the profile of the penal population by race, and the New York City's correctional population, see the graphs in the end of this dissertation (Jacobson, 1998).
30 Jalil Muntaquin (aka Anthony Bottom), a political prisoner of war and former member of the Black Panther/Black Liberation Army and imprisoned for nearly 24 years, wrote that «The criminal justice system in USA imprisons African men 9 times more than European-Americans, and 4 times more than did apartheid South Africa. While Blacks comprise 48% of the US prison population, they are only 12.5% of the entire population» (Muntaquin, 1995).
31 The most recent example refers to France. In 28.7.1999 France was unanimously condemned by the European Court for infringing articles 3 and 6 of the European Treaty for Human Rights, i.e. use of tortures and delay in administration of justice. The case of Ahmed Sarnonie is in fact the very first case where the European Court of Human Rights condemns a European country for torturing a prisoner (Elephtherotypia, 1.8.1999, page 34).
32 The humanitarian confrontation of penal law violators had a focal point in the ancient Hellenic thought and civilisation where we can find the «altar of mercy». The germs of rehabilitation and re-incorporation of law violator can be found in the Writings of Ancient Greek Philosophers because this social re-incorporation of perpetrators was the principle and constant solicitude (Farsedakis, 1990). For the rehabilitation and re-insertion value as the principal and constant solicitude in the Ancient Hellenic thought see among others; Plato a) «The laws of Plato», Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1970 (631c, 643a, 859A-957E and 870a), b) «Gorgias-A revisited text with introduction and commentary by E.R. Dodds», Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1959 (477A, SOSB, 525B and 479-480), c) «Protagoras-Translated from the Greek with notes by C.C.W. Taylor», Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1976 (324B, 325A), d) «Meno» edited with introduction and commentary by R.S. Bluck, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1961 and «Laches; Protagoras; Meno; Eutydemos», London: Heinemann; New York: Putnams, 1924 (88c). Aristotle a) «The rhetoric of Aristotle - An expanded translation with supplementary examples for students of composition and public speaking» by Lane Cooper, New York; London: Prentice-Hall, 1960 (1369b), b) «Athenian Constitution and Related Texts» translated with an introduction and notes by Kurt Von Fritz and Ernst Kapp, New York: London: Hafner, 1950 (8, 4), c) «Aristotle's Politics and Athenian Constitution» edited and translated by John Warrington, London: Dent, 1959 (1322b39). See also Plato's «Kritias» (106B) and Xenophon's «Kyro's Education», 1, 3, 16. Later on we localise germs of the rehabilitation theory in the texts of the Fathers of Christian Church. Saint Augustine condemned tortures and advised his Prince to show leniency, mercy and forgiveness (La Cité de Dieu). Accordingly, punishment must lead to the reform of the perpetrator and not to his extermination, i.e. «omnis poena, si justa, peccati poena» (Ancel, 1995: 453)
33 On the other hand experiments on prisoners violate their civil and human rights. Despite the fact that these experiments are taken place after their consent, there is a serious doubt as to what extent a captive population can give its consent freely.
34 Prison is the proper place for the spread of HIV disease, a real breeding ground for AIDS. Peter Wayne, a prisoner in Wandsworth prison chronicled (Wayne, 1999) «Wardsworth prison is a more enlightened place today. They issue inmates with AIDS information pacts, and «mission statements» are posted all over the place, speaking of religious, racial and sexual equality. But the queers in the system still have a hard time of it. The prison service steadfastly refuses to provide condoms (despite statements to the contrary) on the basis that there is «no legitimate use» for them in prison. Because they say that a prison cell is not a private cell, any homosexual act can be construed as a criminal offence».
35 The Howard League for Penal Reform, 708 Holloway Rd, London N19 3BR. Fax. 01712815506.
36 Moreover, under the current prison conditions worldwide, any effort towards the rehabilitation of prisoners is condemned to fail. The global increase in penal population has converted prisons into warehouses (Matthews, 1997) and the reformatory running of prison simply does not exist. Prison is just a confined place, packed with living bodies of every shape, colour and size. On the other hand, the great strain of the state budget, which mainstream criminologists many times takes into account, caused by the increase of the penal population, escapes from any interest for the abolitionist rationale and prospect. In Thomas Mathiesen's words, «I would be willing to institute even more costly measures if they were humane and represented acceptable values» (Mathiesen, 1986: 88).
37 The justice model was also criticised by Gray Gavender (1984, especially 211-212).
38 See however Lowman's critique in a left realist point of view in Lowman, 1992: 158.
39 United for Freedom, Unis Pour la Liberté, Mehr Freiheit durch Gemeinsamkeit and Uniti per la Libertà (Alexiadis, 1989).
40 Does it require deep intuition to realise that penal and prison reforms like «family visits privileges» are in fact tools of degradation, humiliation and mainipulation? In an abolitionist point of view «sexual gratification is now being offered as a reward for compliance and submission» (Bourque, 1994: 6). by a system that is outrageously immoral and inhumane. See also Christie (1981: 15) about the Danish «conjugal visits» in prisons. However, the abolitionist Herman Bianchi has in the 1950's advocated sexual contacts of convicts with their partners (Swaaningen, 1995: 121).
41 The major drug problem in prison was localised and extensively analysed by professor Roger Matthews in his lecture in Middlesex University (week three, Is semester 1998).
42 In this respect, the strange thing is not why prisoners riot against prisons but why prisoners are not rioting more often against the «flayers of their dreams' (Petropoulos, 1989).
43 «Prison is painful, prison in itself is painful to deal with your pains in that painful setting. I think it is inappropriate and could never work» said Chris Tchaikovsky, the Director of «Women in Prison» in Crime and Punishment, 1993 (videotape).
44 Under Jack Straw's (Home Secretary) plan, psychopaths, may be locked up for life before they have done any crime. According to the Mental Health Act, psychopaths cannot be detained in hospital because there is no known cure. As Andy Mc Smith and Martin Bright (News3, I999) observed «the move will create a whole new category of detainees who are neither prisoners nor psychiatric patients and the most controversial aspect of Straw's proposals is that they will apply not just to people convicted of violent offences, but those who might become violent». See also Christie, N. (1986b: 99), «the extreme case is when people are given preventive treatment because they are seen as a in danger of becoming (his italics) criminals».
45 Electronic monitoring is not new also because it has been already used to deal with political opposition to the state in times of political unrest (see Matthews, R. and Berry, B., 1989)
46 And the funny side of the problem; «In Nottingham one man successfully pleaded to return to prison, telling the judge that the hostel where he was curfewed was disgusting, flea-ridden and full of alcoholics» (The Guardian, 4.4.1990 as quoted in Jones, 1992).
47 For the methodically neutralisation of every formed address and the imposition of the stereotypical and politically inactive «public opinion» of the mass media see Pierre Bourdieu «Sur la Television suivi de L'Emprise du Journalisme» (Paris: Liber). Moreover, for the mass media as a part of social construction (along with family, education etc.) and about its powerful function see Hall et al. (1997) «Culture, the Media and Ideological Effect» in J. Curran et al. (eds). Mass Communication and Society. Amold Publications. Morever, harsh critics of mass media -or to use Hans Enzenberger's terminology «the consciousness industry» were among others Umberto Eco, Aldous Huxley («A Brave New World», 1993), Guy Debord («The Society of the Spectacle», 1967), Noam Chomsky, the Greek philosopher Cornelius Castoriadis, the Critical Theory of Frankfurt School (Adorno, Marcuse, Horkheimer, Habermas) the Situationists like Raoul Vaneigem («The Revolution of Everyday Life»), Bertolt Brecht («Radio as a Mechanism of Communication»), and Marshall MacLuhan («The Medium is the Message») and of course Martin Heidegger («The Question concerning technology and other essays», Harper and Row, New York, 1962).
48 According to Pat Carlen (1984) «traditionally, the protection of women has usually seen as a family matter, a matter for fathers, or brothers and husbands Women are vulnerable and passive creatures».
49 In police review of 1975 we read that (Carlen, 1984) «If a woman walks into a police station and complains of rape will no signs of violence she must be closely interrogated. Allow her to make her statement to a police woman and then drive a horse and cart through it... It is advisable if there is any doubt of the truthfulness of her allegations to call her an outright liar. It is very difficult for a person to put on genuine indignation who has been called a liar to her face...Watch out for the girl who is pregnant or late getting home at night: such persons are notorious for alleging rape or indecent assault. Do not give her sympathy!».
50 As a typical pattern of mass process of depenalisation we can mention the German institution of «Ordnungswidrigkeiten». According to this institution minor offences are stripped from any criminalisable aspects (decriminalisation) and are been submitted to civil or administrative law procedures (Ancel, 1995: 284).
51 For example, in 1977 the syndicate has massively protested over the extradition to the Federal Republic of Germany of a lawyer who defended members of RAF in the Baader-Meinhoff trial (Haan, W. et al. 1989).
52 In this respect, probation officers must act as social workers. Probation service must away from the concept of punishment (see «No Soft Option» videotape).
53 A police oriented at social welfare than crime control (Swaaningen, 1995).
54 Professor Jock Young, the director of Islington Crime Survey mentioned that «we found a substantial decline in confidence, a 30% of the population are less confidence in the police than they had been before, and only 7% have increase confidence» («Police: In for Questioning», 1990 - videotape).
55 See also «agent provocateur» actions by the British Police in Nicoll (1992).
56 On the other hand, mass media use to portray as heroes and patterns of behaviour people who commit acts of «DIY justice». Recently, when a citizen was obligated to pay a fine of 4.000 pounds for killing a thief, the newspaper SUN gathered through collection 8.000 and offered the amount to him («DIY Justice», 1996 - video).
57 Let's imagine for example a massive demonstration of a political movement. The demonstrators simply reclaiming the streets, converting the roads into «public arena» and demanding some improvements for their life. More likely, mass media will try to underestimate the reasons for the demonstration. They will rather try to focus on the «highlights» of the event, e.g. the police reactions or the existence of some celebrities among the people and ignore the mass.
58 The Swedish Minister of Justice Karl Schlyter who said «‘let's empty the prisons» is of course a very rare exception (Ancel, 199s: 58 and 295).
59 In other European countries it seems that things are not different; Dr Anika Snare (Kriminalistik Institute of the University of Copenhagen) portrayed the situation in the Danish society. The creation of «folk devils and moral panic» is a global phenomenon (Snare, 1996).
60 For a quick review of the situation of foreign detainees in the Greek Prisons, see Spinellis et al. (1996).
61 See among others Pierre Bourdieu's «Sur la television» (1996) and «Contre-feux» (1997).
62 For the responsibility of a great part of the so-called dogmatic Left in building the opinion that activism has died, see Noam Chomsky (1995). «Some Thoughts on the Mass Media» Athens: Liberal Culture.
63 Abolitionist critique towards forced labour is justified even in a more general level; in a society where our creative energy is been used for the creation of anti-social and worthless products, the only creative act is exactly the continuous refusal to offer our energy and the blocking of the mechanisms of repression.
64 The Russian anarchist philosopher, Peter Kropotkin wrote about the convict labour (1927: 3) that: «everyone knows the evil influence of laziness. But there is work and work. There is the work of the free individual, which makes him feel a part of the immense whole. And there is that of the slave which degrades. Convict labour is unwillingly done, done only through fear of worse punishment. The work, which has no attraction in itself because it does not exercise any of the mental faculties of the worker, is so badly paid that is looked upon as a punishment».
65 Oral communication with Professor John Lea for the needs of this dissertation.
66 In an anarchist point of view crime is the necessary condition of the very existence of the state (see Bakunin, 1998); «all the history of ancient and modem states is nothing more than a series of revolting crimes. For there is no terror, cruelty. sacrilege, perjury, imposture, infamous transaction, cynical theft, brazen robbery or foul treason which has not been committed and all are still being committed daily by representatives of the State, with no other excuse than this elastic, at times so convenient and terrible phrase Reason of State».
67 In Chambliss words «this program (COINTELPRO) was designed to disrupt, harass and discredit groups that FBI. decided were in somewhere «un-American» (1989: 201).
68 For example, the years 1973-1975 were always considered the «reign of terror» on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation (South Dakota). And it was in these years when the infamous COINTELPRO program «neutralised» many members of the American Indian Movement (AIM) as for example Leonard Peltier, the native American activist who has been imprisoned since 1977. (communication with Leonard Peltier Defence Committee, July 1999).
69 For more information on FBI COINTELPRO operations see a) Ward Churchill and Jim Vander «Agents of Repression: The FBI's Secret Wars Against the Black Panther and the American Indian Movement», 1990, Boston: South End Press, b) Jim Fletcher, Tanaquil Jones and Sylvere Lotringer «Still Black, Still Strong: Survivors of the War Against Black Revolutionanes, 1993, New York: Semiotext(e), and Brian Glick «War At Home: Covert Action Against US Activists and What We Can Do About It», 1989, Boston: South End Press. Also see Frank Snepp's «Irreparable Harm - A Firsthand Account of How One Agent Took On the CIA in an Epic Battle Over Secrecy and Free Speech», 1999, Random House.
70 For a general survey of FBI's COINTELPRO program in relation with mass media actions see Chip Berlet «COINTELPRO: What the (deleted) was it? Media op», The Public Eye, 1, April 1978, p. 38.
71 It is true that abolitionism as a movement helped feminism during the past; the female abolitionists take the kind of activist experience they needed. It was after the achievement of slavery abolition when British and American women started to organise their own struggle for emancipation.
72 In fact, it was the abolitionists («die Abolitionisten») who «liberated prostitutes from the grip of criminal prosecution in Germany in 1927» in order to bring their emancipation (Scheerer, 1986: 8).
73 Despite the fact that prostitutes are working class people and pay taxes, the state invariably avoid to recognise and to supply the same privileges that every worker use to have (e.g. pension, insurance, unemployment insurance etc.).
74 For example, when Yorkshire Ripper chose a non prostitute for victim, the British newspapers - only then - starts to speak about «innocent victim». And in his opening address the general attorney concluded that «some were prostitutes but perhaps the saddest part of this case is that some were not. The last six attacks for instance, were on totally respectable women» («Battered Britain» - videotape).
75 As an example, I will mention the International Committee for Prostitutes' Rights in the States (http://www.bayswan.org/ICPRChart.html).
76 There are 400.000 (women and men) prostitutes in Germany and the annual income of this activity is not less than 12,5% billion marks (Valasopoulos P. «Privileges for Prostitutes», Free Press, August 14-15, 1999, page 16).
77 In an abolitionist point of view, «she or he (the victim) is pushed completely out of the arena ... being a ‘double loser' both by the offender and the penal system, being in essence a nonentity» (Christie, 1977: 3).
78 See however the critique of abolitionism's utopia from a left realist point of view (Young, 1997: 26).
79 As Noel Ignatief concluded «it is fortunate that in the nineteenth century we had abolitionists, instead of diversity consultants; if not, slavery would still exist, and representatives of slaves and slaveholders would be meeting together - to promote mutual understanding and good feeling» (Ignatief, 1998).


indice


informativa privacy