No. XXVIII (2006)

Simulacra of Juvenile Justice System in Poland

Monika Płatek
University of Warsaw

Published 2006-01-29


  • juvenile justice system,
  • violence,
  • juvenile delinquency

How to Cite

Płatek, M. (2006). Simulacra of Juvenile Justice System in Poland. Archives of Criminology, (XXVIII), 281–297.


The article relates to the analysis of responses to violence in the everyday life of a democratic society. The evolution of the juvenile criminal justice system serves here as a litmus paper of the today's neo-liberal European countries. The article critically evaluates the arguments of F. Bailleau and Y. Cartuyvels who present the development of contemporary juvenile justice in terms of neo-liberalism. They claim it is the main reason to answer the question of how long the child should be treated as a child? However, we are still left with the question of what to do with those young people who act like offenders who demand more severe punishment.

In her paper, the author presents the possible model of social control that responds to violence using the F.H. McClintoc's model adopted and modified in the model presented by D. Black in Behaviour of Law. The author argues that selecting a criminal model from among different possible models of social control might be an influence of the neo-liberal policy, yet it is not necessary. The examination of different models currently present in the society should help to answer the question of whether the present policy results from the neo-liberal policy as F. Bailleau and Y. Cartuyvels suggest? Or is it rather due to what Zygmunt Bauman named as the penal effect of globalisation? The author examines how much of the present practice within the juvenile justice fits Jean Baudrillard's era of simulacra where we offlcially tend to fight crime and do good, but in practice, as Michel Foucault pointed long time ago, the goal is somewhat different and detached from both the perpetrator and the victim? The paper also looks at how accurate in this case the analysis of Pierre Bourdieu would be that we tend to accept the perceived reality as natural, for we do not have the proper procedure to see that other solutions are also possible? At the end the paper, the author suggests what elements should be included within juvenile justice system to free it of the simulacra syndrome.


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