'Evidence-based policy' and the government of the criminal justice system - only if the evidence fits!

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49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This article analyses the core sources of evidence that were claimed to underpin the wide-ranging reforms of the criminal justice system under the Criminal Justice Act 2003. Drawing from Foucault's governmentality thesis, it argues that the processes of evidence collection and deployment did not comply with the government's theoretical and methodological dictates of 'evidence-based-policy' as a guiding principle in all public policymaking. On the contrary, the parameters of the exercise were framed in such a way that critical evidence that questioned the wisdom of many of the planned reforms on the grounds that they will cause miscarriages of justice was completely disregarded. It is, therefore, concluded that the Criminal Justice Act (2003) is not 'non-ideological' as claimed. Rather, it symbolizes a governmental technique (in the Foucauldian sense) to transform ideology into discourse, which then provides the legitimate authority to force through the intended reform agenda.
Translated title of the contribution'Evidence-based policy' and the government of the criminal justice system - only if the evidence fits!
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47 - 69
Number of pages23
JournalCritical Social Policy
Volume25 (1)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2005

Bibliographical note

Publisher: Sage

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