Before Prison, Instead of Prison, Better Than Prison: Therapeutic Communities as an Abolitionist Real Utopia?

  • Liverpool John Moores University
     United Kingdom
  • Liverpool John Moores University
     United Kingdom

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to critically engage with the idea that Therapeutic Communities (TCs) can be promoted in England and Wales as a radical alternative to prison for substance users who have broken the law. After grounding the discussion within the normative framework of an ‘abolitionist real utopia’ (Scott 2013), the article explores the historical and theoretical underpinnings of TCs. Existing literature advocating TCs as a radical alternative both before and instead of prison is then reviewed, followed by a critical reflection of the TCs compatibility with the broader values and principles of an abolitionist real utopia. To conclude, the article suggests that, although TCs could be a plausible and historically immanent non-penal real utopia for certain people in certain circumstances, we must not lose focus of wider social inequalities.
Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content in this journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Published: 2016-03-01
Pages:52 to 66
Section:Articles
Fetching Scopus statistics
Fetching Web of Science statistics

Author Biographies

Liverpool John Moores University
 United Kingdom
Senior Lecturer
Liverpool John Moores University
 United Kingdom

School of Law

Criminal Justice Team