How Far Garlands Theories Can Be Applied in the Contemporary Criminal Context

The objective of the paper is to assess how far Garland’s theories can be applied in the contemporary criminal context, specifically in sentencing.
At the outset, the essay will describe the two responses, i.e, adaptation and denial, proposed by Garland. Two newspaper articles dealing with Government reforms on sentencing guidelines will be assessed to determine whether they are examples of adaptation or denial. Contextual factors that lead to such a response will also be analyzed so that the extent of applicability of Garland’s views can be determined.
According to Garland, in earlier years, the criminal justice system had assumed a hybrid penal welfare structure, combining due process and proportionate punishment with a decisive thrust in the correctional direction, favoring rehabilitation, welfare and criminological expertise. (Garland, 2001: 27). Developments in correctional policies demonstrated a commitment to community-based solutions, with a focus on the rehabilitation of offenders and the tailoring of individual penal sentences framed in accordance with the characteristics and needs of the offenders. This approach exemplifies a pragmatic and adaptive Government response to crime, characterized by (a) the State role as a facilitator rather than controller of criminal policy (b) focus on the consequences rather than causes of crime (c) participation of non-State actors in prevention of crime (d) viewing crime prospectively, i.e, institution of crime prevention measures (Garland, 1996).