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Friday, November 2, 2018



INTRODUCTION The principles of criminalisation have served as a deterrent of sorts to potential criminals and actual criminals because it has tried to make it an institutionalized issue. Criminalisation has done a lot to keep humanity safe from criminal elements. The creation of a criminal justice system procedure for processing criminals and rendering them harmless behind a prison block and branding them by giving them numbers and a uniform is quite impressive but still has its own loopholes. It is necessary to understand how criminalisation stems crime and how it evolves in the first place. In this unit, we are going to critically examine the concept of criminalisation and its relevance in crime alleviation. 2.0 OBJECTIVES At the end of this unit, you should be able to:  list the principles of criminalisation  identify the process of criminalisation  identify how the state criminalizes individuals  discuss the theoretical underpinning of criminalisation  critique the criminalisation process. 219 3.0 MAIN CONTENT 3.1 Criminalisation 1. Criminalisation might be intended as a pre-emptive, harmreduction device, using the threat of punishment as a deterrent to those proposing to engage in the behavior causing harm. The State becomes involved because they usually believe costs of not criminalizing (i.e. allowing the harms to continue unabated) outweigh the costs of criminalizing it (i.e. restricting individual liberty in order to minimize harm to others). 2. Criminalisation may provide future harm reduction even after a crime, assuming those incarcerated for committing crimes are more likely to cause harm in the future. 3. Criminalisation might be intended as a way to make potential criminals pay for their crimes. In this case, criminalisation is a way to set the price that one must pay (to society) for certain actions that are considered detrimental to society as a whole. In this sense criminalisation can be viewed as nothing more than State-sanctioned revenge. Polinsky & Shavell (1997)

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