Professor and Associate Dean School of Criminal Justice Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy The University at Albany
MACMILLAN PUBLISHING COMPANY
A Division of Macmillan, Inc.
Collier Macmillan Publishers
Copyright, 1985 Graeme Newman
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
The Free Press
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Collier Macmillan Canada, Inc.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 82-84406 ISBN: 0-02-923130-2
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Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data
Newman, Graeme R.
Just and painful.
"Harrow and Heston/Macmillan book."
Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. Punishment. 2. Criminal justice, Administration of. 3. Corporal punishment. 4. Pain. 5. Social justice. 1. Title.
HV8693.N48 1993 364.6'7 82-84406
I am indebted to many people who, while they may not have agreed with my views, or the many implications of this book, have been grand enough in their vision and their good will to offer constructive criticisms and much encouragement. Perhaps ironically, the book is much better than it would have been without their help. I am very pleased to thank Joan Newman, W. Byron Groves, R. V. G. Clarke, Jack Kress, Pietro Marongiu, Bev Smith, and Ernest Van Den Haag. As usual, my students have been a great source of intellectual stimulation. Our many thoughtful discussions in class are probably what provoked this book.
1. Pain: The Forgotten Punishment
Part One: Pain, Punishment and Crime
2. Pain and Punishment
3.On Crimes and Their Punishments: The Psychology of Retribution
4.The Limits of Pain: Barbaric and Civilized Punishments
5. Electric Shock: The Fairest Punishment of All
6. Splitting Crimes from Criminals
7. Prisons as Purgatory
8. Choosing the Punishment
9. Cruel and Unusual?
Part Two: Justifying Pain
10. The Moral Superiority of Retribution
11. Pain is Not Evil
12. Pain is not (Necessarily) Torture
13. Will Corporal Punishment Deter ?
14. A Punishment Manifesto
Nearly 400,000 Americans are doing time behind bars: a prison population larger than that of any other country except South Africa and the Soviet Union. And one that is expected to double by 1990.
Is it worth the billions of dollars it costs every year to keep them there?
No, says Graeme Newman. Sending most criminals to prison is not only a waste of money. It's also the wrong kind of punishment.
Like other experts, Graeme Newman agrees that prisons have failed to rehabilitate or to punish those who break the law. But his alternative to our growing addiction to imprisonment as a cure-all for crime is unique: not "treatment" or probation or halfway houses, but by having every lawbreaker pay a real penalty.
His alternative is corporal punishment.
In his provocative book, Graeme Newman makes a powerful, persuasive argument for restricting prison terms to the hard core of repeat offenders and truly violent criminals. For most crimes and criminals, the temporary physical pain of a carefully controlled electric shock could well be a cheaper, more effective, more meaningful punishment. And it is more humane than years spent facing the random terror and violence of prison.
Not everyone will agree with this book. Some will say it is a case for torture. It is not. But everyone who reads it, especially those concerned that today's longer, tougher sentences are turning the U.S. into an "inmate nation"-will be forced to rethink exactly what we mean by punishment. And justice.
This book Is for everyone outraged by crime-and by the chaos of our criminal justice system.
Why, Graeme Newman asks, has reform after reform failed to halt the spread of crime? How can we demand long, mandatory sentences when voters refuse to spend the money to build more and bigger prisons? Does anyone know what to do with those who break the law?
Graeme Newman has a plan. In a book of compelling power and vision, the distinguished criminologist brings the heated debate over the control of crime back to where it belongs: the nature of punishment. And he shows that the crucial question we must ask is what kind of punishment-rather than how much of it-fits the crime.
For most ordinary crimes and criminals, he shows that prison is simply the wrong kind of punishment. For first time, nonviolent, or minor offenders, prisons usually do nothing. In fact, most of the 400,000 men and women now behind bars don't belong there at all. Their lives are daily encounters with violence and humiliation. The penalty inmates pay is not punishment, but arbitrary, unjust suffering unrelated to the crimes they have committed. Prisons, Newman shows, do not teach the evil of crime, only its inevitability.
There is an alternative to the pointless terror of prison. It is inexpensive. It does not destroy families by taking breadwinners away for years. It is fair: everyone receives the same punishment for the same crime. It is undeniably painful, but only for a short time. It leave no permanent scars. And it teaches a specific lesson about crime. It is corporal punishment.
Although talking of corporal punishment without conjuring visions of torture is not easy, Newman makes his case persuasively. In the form of carefully controlled electric shocks, such a punishment does not mutilate. It is measurable. And once punished, the offender is released. There is also strong evidence for its potential as a deterrent.
Prisons, according to Newman, should be reserved for the "truly terrible" minority of violent and repeat offenders, who should be given long sentences with no chance of parole.
"We do not seek to 'cure' the criminal," Newman writes, "but rather to have him atone for his crime." Punishment, not rehabilitation, is the only logical goal of the criminal justice system. And for punishment to work, it must teach a clear, painful lesson about the literal evil of crime. Without pain, he shows, there is no punishment. Without punishment, there can never be justice.
This is not a call for cruelty or barbarism. Some will disagree with Newman, others will applaud his courage. This is a book of proposals, a manifesto urging us to radically rethink the meaning of law, order, and justice, and the role of punishment in the protection of society. Few will be unmoved by the force of its argument.