What can we do to engender a more rational and less punitive crime policy?

David Indermaur

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper examines the question of what can we do, at a practical level, to respond to penal populism. It is argued that a comprehensive understanding of the nature of penal populism provides the best base for considering a range of responses across the full spectrum of precipitating factors. The paper begins with a sketch of the main understanding of penal populism articulated in earlier works, principally Roberts et al. (2003), then the putative causes of penal populism are expanded considering the contributions of precipitating factors at six levels. A number of suggestions and strategies at each of the six levels is then provided. Rather than being competing these strategies at different levels are seen as complementary although some will be more realizable than others. The paper finishes with a focus on the topic of public inclusion into the development of policy. A democratization of policy, it is argued, is crucial and, ultimately, the most profound way of addressing the challenge of penal populism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)181-199
    JournalEuropean Journal on Criminal Policy and Research
    Issue number1-2
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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