A New Look at Victim and Offender—An Abolitionist Approach
This chapter focuses on the concept of abolitionism. Abolition as a stance and academic abolitionism are two forms of theoretical abolitionism present in a time where the actual abolition of prisons lies in the future, out of our reach. Both are viable and important. But there is also another possibility, a third form of abolitionism, which is as viable and important as the others. It brings in a third dimension, where a retreat to the safe haven of the academy or a mere dimension of a staunch no is combined with ‘expeditions’ and actions favouring basic change in the outside world, notably at key points in prison and penal policies and culture. This third form of abolitionism crosses boundaries with stamina and resolve, brings in deep and prolonged interaction with those who are subject to the so-called criminal justice system — the prisoners — and is, up to a point, practical. The chapter also proposes a different way of looking at the relationship between victim and offender.
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