Changes in the control of youth : an examination of youth carceral trends in Manitoba
One of the major changes in social control that has occurred in the 20th century concerns the coercive social control of youth. This thesis examines the coercive, state initiated methods of social control used in dealing with young offenders. Specifically, this study explores several issues surrounding the decarceration of young offenders in Manitoba. The thesis is developed into four chapters. Chapter one discusses decarceration and gives the research problem of this study. Chapter two provides a detailed description of the methodology and describes the decisions that were made during data collection. Chapter three presents the findings of the study. Chapter four discusses the findings and offers an analysis of how they relate to the debate surrounding decarceration and the YOA. In essence, this thesis is concerned with describing what has happened in the past two decades in terms of the coercive control of young offenders in the youth justice system in Manitoba. Decarceration has been a heavily debated topic among researchers concerned with explaining trends in the sentencing of adult offenders. The revisionist writings of Rothman (1971, 1980), Foucault (1977) and Ignatieff (1978) inspired critical criminologists, led by Andrew Scull (1977) and Stanley Cohen (1979), to examine decarceration and the sociology of punishment. By the mid-1980s, these examinations had led critical criminologists to conclude that efforts at decarceration had failed miserably and that community corrections had simply widened the net of social control (Chan & Ericson, 1981; Cohen, 1985; Hylton, 1981; Scull, 1984). Recently, Maeve McMahon (1990, 1992) has challenged these conclusions in her innovative and controversial research on penal trends in adult corrections in Ontario. McMahon argues that decarceration is occurring and that community corrections is an "alternative" to prison and not an "add-on" to the prison system. By analyzing Ontario provincial prisons and scrutinizing several key net-widening studies, McMahon produces empirical support for her thesis that decarceration is occurring in the adult criminal justice system in Ontario. As a result of McMahon's research, social control theorists are now being forced to re-examine their claims about the failure of decarceration and the expansion of the social control net. Cohen (1985) divides the history of deviancy control into dominant periods encompassing three master patterns: Phase One, pre-18th century, characterized by weak state involvement, mostly non-custodial places of control and public spectacles of bodily punishment; Phase Two, 19th century, known for its centralized state involvement, institutional settings and discrete ways of punishment directed at the mind; and Phase Three, up to the mid-20th century, dominated by ideological attacks on decentralization and strengthening the criminal justice system by aiming punishment towards both body and mind (1985, p. 17). In Phase Three, Cohen illustrates four groups of destructuring movements or ideologies, each directed against one of the original transformations found in Phase Two. These four groups are: away from the state (e.g. decriminalization, diversion), away from the expert (e.g. deprofessionalization), away from the institution (e.g. deinstitutionalization, decarceration, and community control), and away from the mind (e.g. back to justice, neo-classicism) (Cohen, 1985, p. 31)...