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Big Foot Conferenece. June 6th. Environmental justice crime prevention and intergenerational learning_Slavomir Redo
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Big Foot Conferenece. June 6th. Environmental justice crime prevention and intergenerational learning_Slavomir Redo


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Slavomir Redo, Visiting Lecturer of the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Vienna made a presentation linking Environmental justice, crime prevention and intergenerational …

Slavomir Redo, Visiting Lecturer of the Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Vienna made a presentation linking Environmental justice, crime prevention and intergenerational learning on the second day of the Big Foot conference

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  • According to Sutherland, social disorganization refers to the breakdown in traditional socialcontrol and organization in the society, community, neighbourhood, or family so that deviant andcriminal activity result. It is most often applied to urban crime. Such disorganizationfosters the cultural traditions and cultural conflicts that support such activity. Later, Sutherland replaced that term with differential social organization, accepting thus, that not everybody has the same law-abiding values and goals, and, eventually, with differential association – a theory that by name covered both types of values and attitudes.Particularly, Sutherland argued that:(a) „A person becomes delinquent because of an excess of definitions favourableto violation of law over definitions unfavourable to violation of law”. This is theprinciple of differential association. It refers to both criminal and anti-criminal associationsand has to do with counteracting forces. When persons become criminals, theydo so because of contacts with criminal patterns and also because of isolation fromanti-criminal patterns. Any person inevitably assimilates the surrounding cultureunless other patterns are in conflict; a Southerner does not pronounce “r” becauseother Southerners do not pronounce “r.” Negatively, this proposition of differentialassociation means that associations which are neutral so far as crime is concernedhave little or no effect on the genesis of criminal behaviour. Much of the experienceof a person is neutral in this sense, e.g., learning to brush one’s teeth. This behaviourhas no negative or positive effect on criminal behaviour except as it may be relatedto associations which are concerned with the legal codes. This neutral behaviour isimportant especially as an occupier of the time of a child so that he is not in contactwith criminal behaviour during the time he is engaged in neutral behaviour.(b) The process of learning criminal behavior by association with criminal and anti-criminal patterns involves all of the mechanisms that are involved in any other learning.Negatively, this means that the learning of criminal behaviour is notrestricted to the process of imitation. A person who is seduced, for instance, learnscriminal behaviour by association, but this process would not ordinarily be describedas imitation.(c) While criminal behavior is an expression of general needs and values, it is not explained by them since non-criminal behavior is an expression of the same needs and values.Thieves generally steal in orderto secure money, but likewise honest labourers work in order to secure money. Theattempts by many scholars to explain criminal behaviour by general drives and values,such as the happiness principle, striving for social status, the money motive, orfrustration, have been and must continue to be futile since they explain lawful behaviouras completely as they explain criminal behaviour. They are similar to respiration,which is necessary for any behaviour but which does not differentiate criminal fromnon-criminal behaviour. These are factors working both ways (negative/positive; risk/protective).The core of the transmission of criminal traditions takes part in the small groups („primary”, „intimate”). Among such groups, family is the most important. Intergenerational familial transmission of criminal traditions has been relatively well researched and documented. Accordingly, convicted parents tend to have convicted children. In a Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development study covering transmission of criminal traditions between three generations (gradparents-parents-children) 411 southLondon males have been followed up from age 8 to age 48. These males (generation2, G2) are compared with their fathers and mothers (generation 1, G1), and with theirbiological sons and daughters (generation 3, G3).Results:There was significant intergenerational transmission of convictions from G1males to G2 males, and from G2 males to G3 males. Convictions of fathers still predictedconvictions of sons after controlling for risk factors, but the predictive efficiencywas reduced. Transmission was less from G1 females to G2 males, and from G2 malesto G3 females. There was little evidence of intergenerational transmission from G1 toG3, except from grandmothers to granddaughters.The degree of intergenerational transmissiondecreased after controlling for family, socio-economic and individual risk factors,suggesting that these factors may be links in the chain between parent and childoffending. However, the father’s convictions still predicted the son’s convictionseven after controlling for these risk factors.A key policyimplication is that it is important to take steps to reduce theintergenerational transmission of offending. This research suggests importantintervention targets such as poor parental supervision and disrupted families. Byreducing family and other risk factors, intergenerational transmission can bereduced. Conclusion: The intergenerational transmission of offending may be mediated byfamily, socio-economic and individual risk factors. Intervention to reduce intergenerationaltransmission could target these risk factors (David P. Farrington, Jeremy W. Coidand Joseph Murray, Family factors in theintergenerational transmissionof offendingCriminal Behaviour and Mental Health19: 109–124 (2009)).Retroflexive Reformation. This process („helpers principles”) is based upon differential association and often takesplace in a group setting working with both offenders and non-offenders. It modifies social relationships, and is an effective supplement to the clinical handling of convicted criminals. It is a social reintegration principle.This concept suggeststhat “inattempting to reform others, the offender almost automatically accepts the relevant commonpurpose of the group, identifies himself closely with other persons engaging in reformation, andassigns status on the basis of anticriminalbehaviour” . RR works best for offenders, if focused on their antisocial associations, and reinforces aprosocial conduct. Otherwise training in helping others may be ineffective and incompatible with criminal attitudes and lifestiles which are too deeply entrentched (prisons are the place whith the excess of favourable definitions to law violation).If criminals are to be changed, they must be assimilated into groups which emphasize values conducive to law-abiding behavior and, concurrently, alienated from groups emphasizing values conducive to criminality. Since the majority of criminals experience great difficulty in securing intimate contacts in ordinary groups, special groups whose major common goal is the reformation of criminals must be created. The more relevant the common purpose of the group to the reformation of criminals, the greater will be its influence on the criminal members' attitudes and values. Just as a labour union exerts strong influence over its members' attitudes toward management but less influence on their attitudes toward say, women, so a group organized for recreation or welfare purposes will have less success in influencing criminalistic attitudes and values than will one whose explicit purpose is to change criminals. The more cohesive the group, the greater the members' readiness to influence others and the more relevant the problem of conformity to group norms. The criminals who are to be reformed and the persons expected to effect the change must, then, have a strong sense of belonging to one group:betweenthemmust bea genuine "we" feeling. The reformers, consequently, should not be identifiable as correctional workers, probation or parole officers, or social workers. Both reformers and those to be reformed must achieve status within the group by exhibition of "pro-reform" or anti-criminal values and behaviour patterns. As a novitiate, he is a therapeutic parasite and not actually a member until he accepts the group's own system for assigning status. The most effective mechanism for exerting group pressureon members will befound in groups so organized that criminals are induced to join with noncriminals for the purpose of changing other criminals. A group in which criminal A joins with some noncriminals to change criminal B is probably most effective in changing criminal A, not B; in order to change criminal B, criminal A must necessarily share the values of the anticriminal members. The benefits of the RR process are often greater forthe helper (mentor) than for the helpless (prisoner). Adult mentoring programs for former prisoners are being studied in the context of the US reintegration programmes (Ready4Work) which had a strong faith-basedcomponent. The helpers are drawn from the community, especially faith-based organizations. Focus groups indicate that the helpless (prisoners) wantmentoring, and they express a particular preference for mentors who have had a prisoner’reentry experience (recidivism). Both individual and group mentoring models are being implemented.Once they are involved in the program, maintees continue to want mentoring, and they alsowant to become mentors themselves, participating as both a mentor and a mentee. Several Project participants have “graduated” and become helpers.Preliminary evidence suggests that group mentoring may not be as powerful astraditional mentoring, although it may be a less costly alternative.Despite the variety and promising prospects of the approaches just described,community services currently available for new releasees may not be meeting their needs.In a survey of men released from state prison to Chicago, 48 percent said that they hadused some services in the 2 months since release, but when asked what services were most useful, 17 percentsaid that none of them was useful. When asked “what would be most helpful right now” (6months postrelease), 64 percent mentioned ajob or job training, 53 percent mentionedfinancial support, 24 percent mentioned education, 38 percent mentioned housing, and 41percent mentioned health insurance (Parole, desistance from crime, and community integration, National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Community Supervision and Desistance from Crime, National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on Law and Justice, 2008).The supplementarity of DA/RR is mainly due to the fact that it is focused on small groups of people, in line with the premise that commision of a crime and the reintegration of prisoner comes through an intimate contact. The role of media in projecting violence has been underestimated in it, mainly because at the time when the DA theory was eventually formed (1939-1947), their impact on people had been limited to newspapers and radio broadcasts. In 1940 in the US there were only 100, 000 TV sets in housholds and another 100,000 in the public places (restaurants, theaters, schools, hotels, etc.) – altogether less than 3 per 1000 people, and in 1947 – about 5. Currently, the number of TV sets per one US houshold is740 per 1000 people (in Austria 520, Germany 623 and in Poland 338). However, what matters for evaluating whether or not the non-intimate contacts may have on crime commission and the reintegration is the TV content. Curently, the number ofmurders seen on the US TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school is 8,000. The number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18 is 200,000, and the percentage of Americans who believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem is 79 ( The growth of mobile and internet communication with its content these days makes the issue of the transmission of criminal traditions, including violence, even a much more troubling picture.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Environmental Justice, Crime Prevention and Intergenerational Learning Dr. jur. habil. Sławomir REDO Law Faculty, Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology, University of Vienna, Austria
    • 2. What is Environmental Justice? Academic definition*: First, it describes a social movement whose focus is on the fair distribution of environmental benefits and burdens. Second, it is an interdisciplinary body of social science literature that includes (but is not limited to) theories of the environment, theories of justice, environmental law and governance, environmental policy and planning, development, sustainability, and political ecology* Policy-relevant definition: The United States Environmental Protection Agency defines Environmental Justice as "the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, sex, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies." *Schlosberg, David. (2007) Defining Environmental Justice: Theories, Movements, and Nature. Oxford University Press Miller, Jr., G. Tyler (2003). Environmental Science: Working With the Earth (9th ed.). Pacific Grove, California: Brooks/Cole. p. G5
    • 3. Both definitions undersempesize the intergererational effect of Environmental Justice "No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy. Rather, both are processes that continue to evolve over a lifetime. A society that cuts off from its youth severs its lifeline”, Kofi Annan.
    • 4. Argument: In the interest of broader practical and theoretical pursuit of the concept of sustainable development, one may argue that security, the rule of law, the administration of criminal justice administration, and crime prevention should be treated as renewable resources. Their vital energy is social energy. That energy is not only produced by each generation for its own use, but should also be transmitted intergenerationally. Intergenerational transmission of cultural patterns of behaviour, whether positive or negative (crime and violence), is a part of the question of social, people-centred sustainable development and the energy it releases that should drive crime prevention, as emphasized in its own way by the UN Guidelines for the Prevention of Crime (2002).
    • 5. Crossing generations, crossing mountains, but also crossing disciplines, minds and making alliance of civilizations
    • 6. Intergenerational transmission of values and learning is not only for the poetics of environmental protection and dialogue of civilizations but also for a practical building of the resilence to criminal motivation
    • 7. On the basis of the study of conduct norms by the tribes in India (the offspring of Central Asian Moghuls which appeared in the 16th century), Thorsten Sellin in his article on the conflict of cultures (1938) concluded that killing a member of own tribe or stealing from him was a “crime”, but doing that to others was a virtue, hence “conflict of cultures” in which a group instils the double standards which its members apply. It is „natural for the Chinaman to gamble as for
    • 8. Criminal traditions are passed from one generation to another. („Birds of a feather flock together”)
    • 9. The follow-up research by Edwin H. Sutherland (Sellin’s friend) has led him to conclude that e.g. „Criminal behavior is learned in interaction with other persons in a process of communication”; and others to test and confirm statistically this and other precepts of „differential association theory”. It serves now also as the basis for practitioners involved in the „unlearning criminal behaviour”
    • 10. From differential association to reflexive reformation: 11 Induce crimnals to join noncriminals to share the noncriminal values Make a reformation goal relevant to the interest of criminals Inscribe yourself into the group by accepting its ranks and status Instill a genuine „we” feeling as „one of them” to achieve cohesion CRIMINALS Induce crimnals to join noncriminals to share the noncriminal values Favourable to law violation TRADITIONS Unfavourableto law violation Learning techniques and rationalizations Excess of definitions favourable to law violation Intimate contact with delinquent associates CRIME Favourable to law violation TRADITIONS Unfavourable to law violation Source: Chris Uggen & Sławomir Redo DA RR
    • 11. The British initiated the Criminal Tribes Act in 1871, referring to around 150 tribes for their so-called “criminal tendencies,” giving the police wide powers to arrest them, control, and monitor their movements. The law in effect was that anyone born into one of the tribes, under this act, was seen as a criminal.
    • 12. Typical criminal tribes’ activities: gang-related (as members of private armies); frisking of the audience while the tribe’s women perform dance; road and train robberies, duping poor farmers by playing a cop or a priest; stealing livestock; forcing a women of own tribe into prostitution, while a master disguised as fakir enters the act, beats and robbs a customer, etc.
    • 13. A member of own tribe may become “other” if he/she brings “dishonour” Human Rights Watch defines "honor killings“ in own group as follows: Honor killings are acts of vengeance, usually death, committed by male family members against female family members, who are held to have brought dishonor upon the family. A woman can be targeted by her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage, being the victim of a sexual assault, seeking a divorce—even from an abusive husband—or (allegedly) committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that "dishonors" her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life*. Men can also be the victims of honor killings by members of the family of a woman with whom they are perceived to have an inappropriate relationship** The loose term "honor killing" applies to killing of both men and women in cultures that practice it***. *Violence Against Women and "Honor" Crimes". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 2001-04-06. ** Afghan couple stoned to death – Central & South Asia. Al Jazeera English (2010-08-16). Retrieved on 2011-10-01. ***Teen Lovers killed in India Honor Killing.
    • 14. When Soviet law was extended to Siberia, similar effects were observed. Women amongt he Siberian tribes, who in obedience to the law, laid aside their veils were killed by their relatives for violating one of the most sacred norms of their tribes.
    • 15. In 1930s there were about 4 million of „criminal tribes” members for 300 million India’s population (~1,3%). Now there are about 60 million for 1 billion population (~1,6%). Since India’s independence (1947) there has been a progress in allevating the poverty of those tribes, but not without criticism of civil community („racial profiling” ).
    • 16. After the British rule, India, criticized for discriminatory classification of nomadic and semi-nomadic „criminal tribes”, repealed in law their respective classification as „hereditary criminals” and „habitual offenders”.
    • 17. „The social category generally known as the Denotified and Nomadic Tribes (DNTs) of India covers a population approximately of 60 million. Some of them are now included in the list of Scheduled castes, some others in the Scheduled Tribes, and quite a few in Other Backward Classes. …What is common to all these DNTs is the fate of being branded as 'born’ criminals.”
    • 18. If we agree that we do not still exactly know where and how social networks cross with human biological processes and it is very difficult to alter the personal dispositions of offenders, would this not then be a reason to seek to modify their behaviour by changing the social/cultural and situational risk factors related to how they act, and their perceptions of those factors, especially at the early development stage? How can one better motivate communities than by assisting them in developing and pursuing legitimate ownership of certain crime prevention activities, and by encouraging them to increase their own resilience, so this can create a better quality of life and investment climate for future prosperity? If communities fail, who else can succeed? How can we identify in culture essential components that feed criminogenic injustice (unfairness/inequality), separate them from popular beliefs and religion, so a baby can drink untainted mother’s milk and learn more emphatically about the otherness?
    • 19. There is ethnographic strong evidence that Justice (Fairness/Equality) is the one, basic and cross cutting component that may be identified as a driver for cross disciplinary intergenerational education and training. But it needs a developmental approach (technical assistance), so the local sense of Justice may be advanced to meet the UN sense of „Justice”, because „No one is born a good citizen; no nation is born a democracy”.