Sociological Criticism of Correctional Criminology

Topics: Sociology, Crime, Criminology Pages: 3 (769 words) Published: February 17, 2014
Society is exposed to criminal behavior through media, and tends to classify that behavior as deviant according to current societal beliefs and concerns; however, the processes that create crime do not receive significant attention. This neglect is characteristic of correctional criminology, which is a “correctional, social-problems-oriented approach to the study of crime” (Hester & Eglin, 1992, p.7). Correctional criminology has three major flaws that are problematic from a sociological point of view. Correctional criminology concerns itself with the causes and cures of crime, treats humans as objects rather than conscious beings, and fails to take into account that crime is socially constructed. These flaws cause crime to be viewed from a perspective that is not sociologically sound. The first criticism of correctional criminology is that it focuses on how to alleviate crime. By focusing on alleviating crime, insufficient emphasis is placed on possible problematic social practices. The history and evolution of gay rights in Canada illustrates an overemphasis on alleviating crime, rather than focusing on societal norms that are the actual problem. Until 1969, homosexuals were prosecuted for their sexual orientation and relations. Furthermore, before its removal from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973, homosexuality was also classified as a mental disorder (Corriveau, 2011). The preoccupation of society in classifying homosexuals as deviant and prosecuting them for their apparent transgressions, prevented society from realizing that their beliefs were inhumane and unjust. Currently, homosexual marriage is legal in Canada, which validates that society has realized its previous views on homosexuality were problematic. Thus, from a sociological point of view, correctional criminology’s focus on alleviating crime and neglecting the social factors that actually cause crime is flawed. The second critique of correctional criminology...


References: Corriveau, P. (2011). Judging Homosexuals.Vancouver, BC:UBC Press.
Hester, S., & Eglin, P. (1992). A Sociology of Crime.New York, NY: Routledge.
Price, L. (2005). Feminist Frameworks: Building Theory on Violence Against Women. Winnipeg, MB: Fernwood Publishing
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