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The University of Southampton
Institute of Criminal Justice Research

"Minimalism and the Criminalization Process" Event

14 November 2012
Highfield Campus, University of Southampton

For more information regarding this event, please email Dr Mark Telford at .

Event details

Speaker: Mark Telford

In recent years a considerable literature presenting competing normative theories of criminalization has burgeoned. This paper will suggest that some of the key concepts from this literature (such as the ‘harm principle’) are not particularly strong critical concepts and their potential in constraining the apparently inexorable growth of criminalization and punishment is limited. It will be argued that largely absent from the literature is an appreciation of the values of minimalism and the contribution it can make to better governance. This paper will explore the values of minimalism and decriminalization, contrasts these with the values of criminalization, and considers the relationship of both to governance. Using a case study of a remarkable episode of ‘decriminalization’ (the dramatic deescalation of youth justice custody and intervention in England and Wales during the 1980s), the paper explores the importance of the relationship between policy and practice in manifesting the values of minimalism.

Speaker information

Dr Mark Telford,Mark Telford is Lecturer in Criminal Law and Criminal Justice in the Law School, University of Southampton and a member of the Institute of Criminal Justice Research. Broadly, his research interests are in criminal law, criminal justice, penal policy and youth justice. They include the empirical study of criminal law/criminal justice policy making processes (both historical and contemporary), and the critical analysis of contemporary criminal justice developments.

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