Can prisons ever be a place of rehabilitation, or should they be there to dish out just deserts? In this post, Craig Harper looks at the various purposes of prison and argues that we should view them as places of incapacitation in their current form. Over time, there should be a movement to produce prisons that can truly be places of rehabilitation, but political support for this will be required.
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How is it that some people become attracted to religious fundamentalism or political extremism? Is there a difference in the mindsets of those who engage in religion-derived suicide bombings and nationalist campaigns against ‘non-natives’? In this blog post, Craig Harper starts to set out how some people may be drawn into extremism.
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FCRG member Lorraine Bowman-Grieve researches various forms of extremism. Check out her page and research for more details.
Is the death penalty ever justified? Does it act as an effective deterrent, or is it the essence of an overly-retributive criminal justice system? Here, Craig Harper tries to unpack some of the issues surrounding the death penalty debate, and puts forward the argument that support for the reintroduction may be deep-rooted within the individual psyche of the ‘common man’.
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What are the key drivers of mental illness? Is mental distress a medical problem, treatable by medication by a prescribing doctor? Is it a normal reaction to troubling economic times? Should we try to treat people, or the society within which they live? Craig Harper tries to unpack some of these issues, arguing that the social darwinist environment that has been bought about by neoliberal capitalism contributes to the development and maintenance of mental ill health. He also argues that Western governments can, and should, do more to address this issue.
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The notion of moral panics, as described initially by Stanley Cohen (1972/2002), refers to how phenomena that threaten social norms are exaggerated and promoted as a problem that threatens the very nature of a society. According to Goode and Ben-Yehuda (1994), there are five key aspects to a moral panic. In this post, Craig Harper (PhD Researcher in Forensic Psychology) investigates whether all five of these aspects are satisfied in relation to sexual crime.
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