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As the UK and many other western societies face up to the consequences of a rapidly increasing prison population, so the search for alternative approaches to punishment and dealing with offenders has become an increasingly urgent priority for government policy and society as a whole. This book reports the results of the research programme commissioned by the Coulsfield Inquiry into Alternatives to Prison, which was funded by the Esmée Fairbairn 'Rethinking Crime and Punishment' initiative. It is written by leading authorities in the field, and provides a comprehensive, authoritative and wide-ranging review of the range of issues associated with the use of noncustodial sanctions, examining experiences in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as England and Wales.
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'Alternatives to Prison: options for an insecure society will prove to be a quite valuable title in the field of criminology, and specifically it will come to be seen as an invaluable text in the domain of penology and sentencing. Not only have the editors drawn a strong indictment of the multiple drawbacks to imprisonment save in the cases of violent offences or offenders, they have done so in a way that is sensitive to and responsive to the needs of a collectivity that believes itself to be 'insecure', whatever may be the true state of affairs, at least as may be judged by statistics and surveys'. – Gilles Renaud, Ontario Court of Justice, Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal JusticeSynopsis:
As the UK faces up to the consequences of a rapidly increasing prison population so the search for alternative approaches to punishment and dealing with offenders has become an increasingly urgent priority for government policy and society as a whole. This book, a product of the Coulsfield Commission and written by the leading authorities in the field, provides a comprehensive and wide-ranging review of the range of issues associated with using the variety of non-custodial sanctions, examining experiences in Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as England and Wales. The book will be essential reading not only for government policy makers and criminal justice practitioners but for anybody with a professional or academic interest in prison, probation and the nature of society's response to wrong-doing.The chapters in the book cover such issues as trends in crime, victimisation and punishment; sentencing frameworks; public opinion and community penalties; diversionary and non-supervisory approaches to dealing with offenders; reparative and restorative approaches; electronic monitoring; dealing with substance-misusing offenders in the community; sentencing decisions; punitiveness in high crime-communities; dimensions of difference.
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