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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 gathered from 1976-2006, Hamilton examines the prevalence of harsher penal policies in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, emphasising the importance of viewing criminal justice from smaller jurisdictions. This highly innovative book is thoroughly critical of the way in which punitiveness is currently measured by leading criminologists, in a way which no other European text has done before.
This book is essential reading for students and scholars of criminology, penology, criminal justice and socio-legal studies, as well as those criminal lawyers and practitioners working in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand.