Official Criminology and the New Crime Sciences
The notion that criminological ideas provide the discursive conditions for the governance of crime has featured prominently in criminological scholarship. In the matter of government, thinking about crime coalesces into official criminologies that function to justify and validate state policies and practices of crime control. In representative democracies, these official criminological discourses are ‘public’ and, in principle, take their place alongside others, including those of lay people, the media and politics generally; as well as the criminology produced by academics. As a form of knowledge, official criminologies are definable by the purpose to which they are put. This chapter discusses the problem of causation for official criminology, the problem of prediction, and the problem of selection. It further asks whether official criminology is a science and whether official criminology is political.
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