Community Sanctions as Pervasive Punishment: A Review Essay


Community sanctions involving supervision are a neglected field in criminological research and are widely viewed in political, media and public discourse as ‘not prison’ and a ‘let-off’. An important new book, Pervasive Punishment by Fergus McNeill (2019), redresses this neglect by attempting to ‘make sense of mass supervision’ as a lived experience. Utilising a short story and allied projects with supervisees involving photographs and songs, he constructs a ‘counter-visual’ criminology that elucidates the ways supervision constitutes ‘pervasive punishment’. This article reviews McNeill’s argument and assesses its applicability in the Australian context.

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Published: 2019-12-10
Pages:183 to 199
Section:Review Essay
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How to Cite
Brown, D. (2019) “Community Sanctions as Pervasive Punishment: A Review Essay”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 9(2), pp. 183-199. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v9i2.1208.

Author Biography


Emeritus Professor David Brown taught Criminal Law, Advanced Criminal Law, Criminal Justice, Crime Prevention, Community Corrections and Penology courses at the University of NSW in Sydney from 1974 to 2008. He is a co-author of the major and innovative Criminal Laws (1990), (2nd edn 1996), (3rd edn 2001) (4th edn 2006) (5th edn 2011) (6th edn 2015) which has become the leading student teaching text in criminal law in universities in NSW. He is very widely published across the broad areas of criminal law, criminal justice, criminology and penology, both in Australia and internationally. He has co-authored or co-edited 14 books; published 41 chapters in books, and 145 articles in journals and in conference proceedings published; given over 178 conference papers or public addresses all over the world; and is a regular media commentator on criminal justice issues.