Penal intervention provides a unique window into society and into the relationship between law and society. The form penal intervention takes signals the mentalities and sensibilities that form the logic motivating a regime of punishment—how offenders and victims are imagined, what punishment should accomplish, which techniques are (and are not) acceptable to accomplish penal goals. Inevitably, penal discourses borrow concepts and categories from institutions outside of law, and they in turn shape those institutions within a mutually constitutive existence. Further, as a mechanism of social control penal intervention signals power relations operative throughout society—which populations punish or are alternatively subjected to punishment reflect race, gender, and class divisions; penal techniques also infuse nonlegal institutions to control deviant populations and which order society in general. The ...

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