Reconceptualising Penality

Reconceptualising Penality : A Comparative Perspective on Punitiveness in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand

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Drastic increases in the use of imprisonment; the introduction of 'three strikes' laws and mandatory sentences; restrictions on parole - all of these developments appear to signify a new, harsher era or 'punitive turn'. Yet these features of criminal justice are not universally present in all Western countries. Drawing on empirical data, Hamilton examines the prevalence of harsher penal policies in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, thereby demonstrating the utility of viewing criminal justice from the perspective of smaller jurisdictions. This highly innovative book is thoroughly critical of the way in which punitiveness is currently measured by leading criminologists. It is essential reading for students and scholars of criminology, penology, criminal justice and socio-legal studies, as well as criminal lawyers and practitioners.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 252 pages
  • 159 x 235 x 16mm | 635g
  • Ashgate Publishing Limited
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1409463168
  • 9781409463160
  • 1,380,775

Table of contents

Contents: Foreword; 'Theory is not its own justification': testing the punitiveness thesis; 'It hasn't happened here...': the limits of the punitiveness thesis; Ireland 1976-2006: stagnation and change; Scotland 1976-2006: from divergence to convergence; New Zealand 1976-2006: perfecting the 'perfect society'; The measurement of punitiveness; The 'new punitiveness' in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand; Explaining differences; Reconceptualising penality; Bibliography; Index.
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Review quote

'Overall, this book offers an important expansion and corrective to the current body of work on punitiveness...This book will be a valuable addition to the field for those with an academic interest in globalisation of criminal justice or in the 'punitive turn'. For the more general reader, this offers a means for critical reflection on developments in policy and practice, with all of the complexity and contradictions, opportunities and threats that entails.'

Dr Jamie Bennett, Governor of HMP Grendon & Springhill
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About Claire Hamilton

Dr Claire Hamilton LLB. (Ling. Franc.); Barrister-at-Law; M.Litt; Dip EurCon in Human Rights; Diploma in Third Level Learning and Teaching practised as a barrister in criminal law until 2004 when she became a full time academic. She is currently a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work in Queen's University Belfast.
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