Punishment and Civilization: Penal Tolerance and Intolerance in Modern Society

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John Pratt

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    For Isabella

    We have the idea that the civilization we are talking about – ours – is in itself something great and beautiful; something too which is nobler, more comfortable, and better, both morally and materially speaking, than anything outside it – savagery, barbarity, or semi-civilization … we are confident that such civilization, in which we participate, in which we propagate, benefit from and popularize, bestows on us all a certain value, prestige and dignity.

    Lucien Febvre (1930)

    Acknowledgements

    It would not have been possible for me to write a book of this scope without the receipt of a Marsden Award from the Royal Society of New Zealand. I am thus most grateful to John Morrow, who, as Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Victoria University of Wellington, encouraged me to apply for one of these awards, and to the administrative support I subsequently received from VicLink for its duration.

    As usual, I received wonderful library support while undertaking this research: from Victoria University, the National Library of New Zealand, the International Documents Room at the Parliamentary Library, Wellington, John Myrtle at the Australian Institute of Criminology, the British Library and the Department of Corrections libraries of New South Wales, Victoria, New York State and Georgia. I have been able to employ excellent research assistants during the course of this research and I would like to thank them for their help: Karlene Hazlewood, Bronwyn Morrison and Anne Holland.

    I would also like to thank the group of people who at various times gave me encouragement, references, ideas, provided me with introductions and directions when I seemed lost, commented on drafts, and so on. These are, in no particular order, Mark Finnane, Ian Culpitt, Jonathan Simon, Pat O'Malley, Mick Cavadino, Mark Brown, Malcolm Feiner, Neal Shover, Alison Liebling, Kathy Daly, Ken Polk, Robert van Krieken, Kevin Stenson, Roger Hood, Sarah Anderson, Allan Brodie and colleagues at English Heritage, Willem de Lint, Paul Morris, Nils Christie, Richard Sparks, Gary Wickham, Carolyn Strange, Joe Sim, Martha Myers, Bill Tyler, Andrea Napier, Eric Dunning, the Stephenson family, Stephen Mennell and David Pearson.

    The book was completed while I was a Visiting Fellow at the Key Centre for Ethics, Justice, Law and Governance at Griffith University, Brisbane, and I would like to thank all for their hospitality. I would also like to thank the editors and referees of the following journals for their helpful comments and suggestions on papers which helped me to develop the ideas now set out in this book: Social and Legal Studies, British Journal of Sociology, British Journal of Criminology, Punishment and Society, and Theoretical Criminology. Photographs are reproduced with the permission of English Heritage.

    Finally, I would like to thank my daughter Isabella and my dogs, first Kate then her successor Suzie who did their best to keep me civilized while I explored the civilizing process.

    List of Figures

    • 3.1 Gothic Architecture, Holloway 38
    • 3.2 Gothic Architecture, Armley Gaol, Leeds 39
    • 3.3 Neo-classical Architecture, Newgate 40
    • 3.4 Functional Austerity, Pentonville 43
    • 3.5 Nineteenth-century Prison Clock Tower, Bristol 44
    • 3.6 1960s Blank Appearance, Long Lartin 53
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