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Otherwise than prisons, not prisons otherwise. Therapeutic communities as a non-penal real utopia

Scott, DG and Gosling, HJ (2017) Otherwise than prisons, not prisons otherwise. Therapeutic communities as a non-penal real utopia. Justice, Power and Resistance: European Group Journal.

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Abstract

The aim of this article is to critically engage with the idea that Therapeutic Communities (TC’s) can be promoted as a radical alternative to prison for substance users who have broken the law in England. After grounding the discussion within the normative framework of an ‘abolitionist real utopia’ (Scott, 2013), the article explores the historical and theoretical underpinnings of TC’s. Existing literature which advocates that TC’s can be ‘otherwise than prison’, not ‘prisons otherwise’ are then reviewed, followed by a critical reflection of the strengths and weaknesses of the TC’s contribution to a broader non-penal real utopia manifesto. After evaluating evidence concerning whether TC’s necessarily are a genuine alternative to the prison place, the article concludes that whilst findings indicate TC’s could be a plausible and historically immanent non-penal real utopia for certain people in certain circumstances it is essential that we remain focused on the broader priority of challenging social inequalities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: An amended version of this article has been accepted for publication by the Journal Justice Power and Resistance: The Journal of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > Penology. Prisons. Corrections
Divisions: Humanities and Social Science
Publisher: EG Press
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2016 11:12
Last Modified: 07 Sep 2017 04:12
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2974

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