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The impact of public opinion on criminal justice policy is the highly topical theme of Lord Windlesham's third volume of Responses to Crime.
Like the first two volumes, Legislating with the Tide provides a readable and scholarly analysis of the development of contemporary penal policy. The political contents are examined; the role of the mass media weighed; and the translation of powerful tides of opinion into enforceable law compared in recent legislation aimed at combating crime in England and in the United States.
The American example of the effects of populist-inspired sentencing reforms offers a timely warning to English policy-makers. The importance of the steps toward gun control promoted by President Clinton, one of the most high risk policies for any American elected politician, are shown in the recent tragedies of the mass shootings in Scotland and Tasmania