Müller, P; (2010) "But we will always have to individualise." Police Supervision, its 'Crisis', and Reform in Prussia (1880-1914). Crime, History and Societies , 14 (2) , Article 3. 10.4000/chs.1181.
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This paper examines a particular form of criminal policing in Prussia: the institution of police supervision. Police supervision was an “additional punishment”; it was “added” in so far as it was imposed on prisoners after their release. Although it was meant to safeguard law and order by monitoring former prisoners, “the failure of betterment [of the convict] was an essential element of the logic” of police supervision. This article deepens the insight into the history of this form of criminal control by exploring the practice of supervision, its criticism and reform in the Imperial period. Police supervision was contested, its handling criticised by advocates of reform, and even the Prussian Ministry of Interior was alerted in 1866 that current policing practice did not match with the institute’s objective. The persistent policing practices of local policemen on the beat and the design of police supervision itself impeded the efforts undertaken to safeguard public safety. At the turn of the century, a set of reforms sought to make a fundamental difference by introducing a “monitoring care” placed in the hands of welfare societies: an enhanced individualising approach to remedy the situation. However, this article shows that the reforms did not successfully address the shortcomings of police supervision; the “failure of betterment” continued, albeit it took on a new form.
|Title:||"But we will always have to individualise." Police Supervision, its 'Crisis', and Reform in Prussia (1880-1914).|
|Keywords:||Police, Prussia, Violence, Penal Reform, Police Supervision, Petty Crime, Prostitution|
|UCL classification:||UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > SSEES|
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