An International Perspective on the Tough on Crime Movement

Jeffery Dennis, Minnesota State University

Many historians describe the Tough on Crime Movement, which pushed up penalties and prison time for minor or habitual offenses between roughly 1980 and 2000, as a primarily American phenomenon, caused by a conservative turn in politics and various systemic failures during the 1970s. However, the globalization of economic, political, and cultural rhetoric made Tough on Crime an international movement. An analysis of policies in Britain, France, Australia, and India during the 1980s and 1990s reveals how these countries adapted the general Tough on Crime model to their specialized cultural anxieties.

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 Presented in Session 186. Crime policy and mass incarceration