Author(s): 

Herman Bianchi

After criticising the persistence and extension of the criminal justice system in Western societies and the failure of its objectives of adaptation and therapy, this text proposes a redefinition of norms from the point of view of abolitionism. It is stated that it is not necessary to create a new system of rules but to apply existing ones by redefining the terms to seek respect for human rights and to promote a system of reparation rather than one of punishment. The alternatives that are proposed to the system of punishment lie in the commitment to the resolution of conflicts by their own protagonists avoiding the use of bureaucratic strategies that co-opt those alternatives by incorporating them into the criminal justice system.

This paper was originally published in Bianchi, H. and Swaaningen, R. van (eds) (1985) Abolitionism: Towards a Non-repressive Approach To Crime Amsterdam: Free University Press

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