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Exploring the limits of the justice system in reducing harm

Publication date: Mar 07, 2011 11:50 AM

Start: Dec 07, 2010 11:00 AM
End: Dec 07, 2010 12:00 PM

Location: UCL

Speaker: Roger Graeff OBE, crime documentary maker
Audience: SECReT students

Roger Graeff image

Roger is an award winning filmmaker, criminologist, and writer. His films have influenced policing and criminal justice policy: the handling of rape victims, race issues, sex offenders, and juvenile justice. He is the author of TALKING BLUES, Police in their Own Words, LIVING DANGEROUSLY: young offenders in their own words, and WHY RESTORATIVE JUSTICE? He was Visiting Professor at Oxford University, and Visiting Fellow at the Mannheim Centre for Criminology at the LSE since 1995.

Roger came to SECReT to discuss how his work has informed his ideas about the expectations that are placed by society on the criminal justice system. The Criminal Justice System is expected to catch and convict offenders, mete out just punishments, deter potential criminals, and protect the community. But how realistic is that expectation? How much harm does it prevent? And what else can be done beside call the police?

Roger led an enjoyable discussion with SECReT students engaging them in how viewpoints about the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System are influenced by individuals’ perceptions which are based on factors such as ethnicity, upbringing and, in particular, personal experience of police or legal response to crime. He also debated the failings of the prison system in rehabilitating prisoners, and how the single biggest factor driving individuals into the system is the presence of an older brother in the household who has previously been incarcerated.