Crime control as industry : towards gulags, Western style


Crime control as industry : towards gulags, Western style

Nils Christie

Routledge, 1994, c1993

2nd and enl. ed


Kriminalitetskontroll i industrisamfunnet

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Includes bibliographical references (p. [201]-208)

Translation of: Kriminalitetskontroll i industrisamfunnet



The rising tide of crime is a dominant feature of modern society. Moreover, finding successful methods of dealing with crime is an increasingly sensitive politcal issue. But could our concerns be misplaced, and could it be crime control, rather than crime itself, that is the real danger for the future? In this book, Nils Christie argues that crime control has become an industry with unlimited potential for growth. Raw material, in the form of those actions regarded as criminal, is in abundant supply, and now fuels the rapid growth of an industry creating its own profits, jobs, and demand for further growth. The resulting forms of control are exposed in this radical and thought-provoking book, which surveys a range of western societies, from those in Europe where prison rates remain low, to the United States, where the prison population is ten times that anywhere else in the world.


1. Efficiency and decency 2. The Eye of God 3. Level of intended pain 4. Why are there so few prisoners 5. Control of the dangerous classes 6. The trend-setter 7. Crime control as a product 8. Modernity in decisions 9. Justice done, or managed 10. Brothers in control 11. Modernity and behavioural control 12. Crime control as culture 13. Postscript to Second Edition

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