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This title provides a concise and critical understanding of community sentences in relation to policy, practice and research. Coverage of these three contexts is a distinguishing feature of the book, which takes a comprehensive approach informed by the authors' long involvement in this field. It begins by examining the role and function of community sentences, and how they challenge the framework of thinking about punishment in the criminal justice system. The book then traces the historical development of the theory and practice of community supervision, and shows what impact the first wave of research into its effectiveness has had on policy and practice.;In the context of the penal crisis in the late 20th century and the construction of crime as a political issue, a critical assessment is made by the authors of the achievements of, and problems facing, community sentencing, and they address the questions facing sentencers, politicians, policy makers and practitioners. In particular, they consider whether current organizational structures and divisions are appropriate for the purposes of punishing and helping in the community those who offend. In all, this authoritative text should be essential reading for students of criminology and criminal justice, and a valuable reference for researchers and practitioners in the criminal justice system.