The works of Michel Foucault, who is considered to be an influential thinker during the 20th century, have proved to be relevant in contemporary criminology. The field of criminology is based on two clear approaches. The first approach mainly focuses on what causes crimes, singles out criminogenic social conditions and examines criminals. The second approach, which is current, deals with analyzing forms of penalty and checking for any faults so as to observe the degree of state encroachment on personal rights and liberty. One of Foucault’s works, Discipline and Punish, which was a book he wrote in 1975, examines punishment in its social context. It changed the way people viewed the prison system. The book clearly reveals how he came about with his main theme of power and domination. In his book, he talks about how prisons came about and clearly reveals its history. He also points out the growing number of prisons despite the fact of them not being successful. The rise in the number of prisons and criminals in the US and Britain proves his point. The book reveals his thoughts on how elite people in the society have power and control over everyone. According to Foucault, prisons subjected people to live their lives according to the disciplines that were imposed by the government. He adds on that there have been no improvements in the society since Renaissance and that the only thing that has developed is the technology that has been employed to enslave the spirits of people in our societies.
The Work of Michel Foucault in Contemporary Criminology