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What is left realism?

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Left realism is a term that refers to a perspective in crime and deviance developed in the United Kingdom in the 1980s as a reaction to what criminologists believed to be a failure of the left-leaning political parties to find solutions related to everyday crime. Some of the main supporters of left realism include Richard Kinsey, Roger Matthews, John Lea and Jock Young.

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Some of the key points of left realism included demarginalization, preemptive deterrence and the minimal use of prison. Left realism theoreticians believed that prisons should be a last resort for cases where an individual posed an extreme danger to society. Left realism was politically close to the British Labour Party.

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