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This text presents a comprehensive and expansive account of Scotland's criminal justice processes and agencies. Combining detailed description of legal rules and institutional structures with policy analysis and socio-legal reflections, it aims to offer an understanding of the distinctive characteristics of the Scottish system and its relation to the criminal justice practice of other jurisdictions.
The text concerns itself with practices and outcomes as well as with laws and official policy statements, viewing criminal justice not as a closed, coherent system, but as a chain of loosely coupled agencies whose inter-relations are problematic and whose practices are subject to external demands and political pressures. The book aims to reach beyond the criminal justice state, to discuss the ways in which citizens and private agencies play a part in preventing and controlling crime.
It also highlights the variation that characterizes those caught up in the criminal justice process - juveniles, women, racial minorities, victims and the mentally ill - and describes the distinctive treatment they receive. The main aim of the text is to provide a description of the whole range of the criminal justice process in Scotland and to locate Scottish institutions and practices in broader theoretical and political contexts, from a primarily socio-legal perspective.