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Criminogenic needs and the transformative risk subject

Criminogenic needs and the transformative risk subject This article examines the discrepancies between theories of risk and penality andemergent strategies of risk/need identification and management. Working back fromthe strategies themselves, I argue that the current generations of risk/needtechnologies are a significant departure from the pessimistic theoretical accountsof risk in criminal justice associated with the ‘new penology’and ‘actuarial justice’. I argue that risk knowledges are fluidand flexible and capable of supporting a range of penal strategies. The evolutionand meanings of risk in correctional assessment and classification are examined toshow how understandings of risk have shifted from static to dynamic categorizations.I show how the concept of need is fused with risk, how particular conceptions of‘need’ and ‘risk’ are situated in localpenal narratives, how need reconstructs risk and revives correctional treatment asan efficient risk minimization strategy. I argue that strategic alignment of riskwith narrowly defined intervenable needs contributes to the production of atransformative risk subject who unlike the ‘fixed orstatic risk subject’ is amenable to targeted therapeuticinterventions. Newly formed risk/needs categorizations and subsequent managementstrategies give rise to a new politics of punishment, in which different risk/needsgroupings compete for limited resources, discredit collective group claims toresources, redistribute responsibilities for risk/needs management and legitimateboth inclusive and exclusionary penal strategies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Punishment & Society: The International Journal of Penology SAGE

Criminogenic needs and the transformative risk subject

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References (83)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
Copyright © by SAGE Publications
ISSN
1462-4745
eISSN
1741-3095
DOI
10.1177/1462474505048132
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This article examines the discrepancies between theories of risk and penality andemergent strategies of risk/need identification and management. Working back fromthe strategies themselves, I argue that the current generations of risk/needtechnologies are a significant departure from the pessimistic theoretical accountsof risk in criminal justice associated with the ‘new penology’and ‘actuarial justice’. I argue that risk knowledges are fluidand flexible and capable of supporting a range of penal strategies. The evolutionand meanings of risk in correctional assessment and classification are examined toshow how understandings of risk have shifted from static to dynamic categorizations.I show how the concept of need is fused with risk, how particular conceptions of‘need’ and ‘risk’ are situated in localpenal narratives, how need reconstructs risk and revives correctional treatment asan efficient risk minimization strategy. I argue that strategic alignment of riskwith narrowly defined intervenable needs contributes to the production of atransformative risk subject who unlike the ‘fixed orstatic risk subject’ is amenable to targeted therapeuticinterventions. Newly formed risk/needs categorizations and subsequent managementstrategies give rise to a new politics of punishment, in which different risk/needsgroupings compete for limited resources, discredit collective group claims toresources, redistribute responsibilities for risk/needs management and legitimateboth inclusive and exclusionary penal strategies.

Journal

Punishment & Society: The International Journal of PenologySAGE

Published: Jan 1, 2005

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