n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Increasing detection and incarceration rates : punitive governments or technological advancements?

Volume 19, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



David Garland insists that first-world governments have lost their sovereign power to control the high crime rates in late modernity. They have, however, devised strategies to cope with and to adapt to their limitations in controlling crime. He postulates that these governments employ a "culture of control" strategy to regain the support and trust of the citizenry. By combining culture and crisis, he explains how popular culture adjusted to the crime crisis and how governments have become more punitive towards offenders. Garland believes that the adoption of a more punitive strategy caused incarceration rates to grow unabatedly since the 1970s. However, Garland fail to recognise the impact of technology on the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Technology has contributed to more offenders being apprehended and processed through the CJS since the 1970s. Increasing crime rates and the rise in incarceration rates could thus, to a large extent, be linked to the technology explosion after 1970 and not necessarily to punitive governments.

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