Chapter

Zero Tolerance

Roger N. Lancaster

in Sex Panic and the Punitive State

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520255654
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948211 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520255654.003.0006
Zero Tolerance

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Punitive governance involves a dramatic shift in long-standing liberal ideas about the burden of proof. The entrenchment of punitive practices at the center of governance today poses a striking challenge to the progressive story line. Punitiveness and preemption have progressively redefined practices in an array of fields. Punitive justice expresses anger, resentment, or vindictiveness, in contrast to preventative, reformative, or restorative ideals. The carceral state is a type of political organization in which three conditions are obtained. First, incarceration becomes the preferred sanction for a growing number of infractions. Second, official bureaucracies and civil society collude to intensify enforcement, enhance penalties, and keep the prison system growing. Third, a bloated prison system begins to supply norms for other institutions of government.

Keywords: carceral state; incarceration; punitive governance; punitive justice; punishment

Chapter.  10165 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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