Dragan Milovanovic and Stuart Henry



Constitutive Penology

The authors argue that critical attention should be paid to the ways in which discourses and ideologies of penology reproduce “free world” forms of domination. Critical criminologists need to go farther to reveal how even oppositional discourse may be constitutive of existing reality. Victims may contribute to their own domination-even when they think they are struggling against it. For instance, jailhouse lawyers “often legitimize a hegemonic law-and-order discourse by translating everyday contextualized inmate understandings into legalistic versions cleansed of interconnectedness and potential articulations of system-centered injustices.” Working on the assumption that humans actively reproduce the conceptual and institutional apparatuses that dominate them, the authors argue for a new (“replacement”) penological discourse and practice (“transpraxis”) that would be truly liberating.

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 18, No. 3 (1991): 205-226


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