The Abuses of Punishment

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Palgrave Macmillan, Feb 15, 1998 - Social Science - 270 pages
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This book departs from the customary focus of penology on punishments in criminal and youth justice and deals also with punitive elements of punishments employed, sometimes informally, in the household, nursery, school or at work. It argues that abusive punishments are particularly deeply rooted in authoritarian states in some Western countries such as Britain and the USA. Many punitive practices such as corporal and capital punishment have been exported from imperialist Britain over past centuries. Punishments have shifted ove the past 200 years from public spectacles of the stocks, the whip or the gallows to seclusion of the prison yard, or hte execution house.

The book surveys a variety of psychological, physically constraining, custodial, corporal and capital punishments. The implicit punitive content of judicial processes such as trials, as well as treatments such as behavioural therapy, may have as much psychological impact as more explicitly physical punishments.

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About the author (1998)

Robert Adams is Professor of Human Services Development at the University of Lincolnshire and Humberside.

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