ABSTRACT

During the 1980s, the United States began to focus less upon offender rehabilitation strategies and increasingly upon the use of various get-tough imprisonment and other intermediate punishment measures, including home confinement, electronic surveillance, and daily reporting centers. The increased reliance upon imprisonment and intermediate punishments resulted in major increases in the number and proportion of the base population subject to some form of penal control, despite general decreases in crime rates. In attempts to explain this escalation in penal control, a series of theoretical frameworks have been proposed. Among these are net-widening, carceral society, minimum security society, maximum security society, new penology, and most recently the culture of control. Emerging from these various theoretical interpretations has been a general debate over whether

these increasing penal control trends do, indeed, reflect the emergence of a postmodern or new penology or merely the continuation of trends associated with the modern or old penology.