Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Breaking the Pendulum
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Breaking the Pendulum: The Long Struggle Over Criminal Justice

Philip Goodman, Joshua Page, and Michelle Phelps


The history of criminal justice in the United States is often described as a pendulum, swinging back and forth between strict punishment and lenient rehabilitation. While this view is common wisdom, it is wrong. In Breaking the Pendulum, Philip Goodman, Joshua Page, and Michelle Phelps debunk the pendulum perspective, showing that it distorts how and why criminal justice changes. The pendulum model blinds us to the blending of penal orientations, policies, and practices, as well as the struggle among actors who shape laws, institutions, and how we think about crime, punishment, and related iss ... More

Keywords: punishment, struggle, pendulum, prisons, criminal justice, penal change, probation, parole, punishment and society, penal development

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780199976058
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199976058.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Philip Goodman, author
Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of Toronto Mississauga

Joshua Page, author
Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Minnesota

Michelle Phelps, author
Assistant Professor in Sociology, University of Minnesota