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Why study the law and criminal justice? The answer to this question lies at the heart of this book. Law, Criminal Justice and Society provides an overview of the sociological apporaches to law and criminal justice, the book focuses on how law (as both a jurisprudential concept and a set of specific rules) and the criminal justice system inevitably affect one another, and the ways in which both are intimately connected with wider social forces. The book demonstrates the relevance of both empirical research and theoretical perspectives to critical and creative thinking whilst acquainting students with contemporary issues and debates: conceptual, policy related and topical. Theory is integrated with data from the UK, USA and Australia. Review questions and exercises, further reading lists, and suggested internet sites encourage students to more fully and independently develop their understanding of key questions and issues