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Tracing the Relationship between Inequality, Crime and PunishmentSpace, Time and Politics$
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Nicola Lacey, David Soskice, Leonidas Cheliotis, and Sappho Xenakis

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266922

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266922.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM BRITISH ACADEMY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.britishacademy.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright British Academy, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in BASO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Inequality and Punishment: The Idiosyncrasies of the Political Economy of Punishment

Inequality and Punishment: The Idiosyncrasies of the Political Economy of Punishment

Chapter:
(p.22) 2 Inequality and Punishment: The Idiosyncrasies of the Political Economy of Punishment
Source:
Tracing the Relationship between Inequality, Crime and Punishment
Author(s):

Susanne Karstedt

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197266922.003.0002

Prisons across the globe are manifestations of inequality. In any society, its most marginalised groups are overrepresented in prisons and all institutions of criminal justice. Notwithstanding this universal condition of contemporary criminal justice, the link between social inequality and inequality of punishment has been found to be tenuous and elusive. This contribution addresses the question how socio-economic inequality shapes the manifestations of punishment for a global sample of countries. As socio-economic inequality and criminal punishment are both multi-faceted concepts, several indicators are used for each. The findings confirm the highly contextual nature of the link between inequality and criminal punishment; they suggest a variegated impact of political economies, and a multiplicity of mechanisms that link inequality and criminal punishment across the globe.

Keywords:   Imprisonment rates, Prison conditions, Human rights violations, Socio-economic inequality, Political power, OECD countries, Global regions, Political economy, Penal populism, Middle classes

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