What Is Left Realism?

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.

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.