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This book provides a critical overview of recent government initiatives in the field of crime and punishment, reviewing both the policies themselves, the perceived problems and issues they seek to address, and the broader social and political context in which this is taking place.;The underlying theme of the book is that a qualitative change has taken place in the politics of crime control in the UK since the early 1990s. Although crime has stabilized, imprisonment rates continue to climb, there is a new mood of punitiveness, and crime has become a central policy issue for the government, no longer just a technical matter of law enforcement. There are many parallels with the changing nature of crime control in the USA, and the contributors draw on international comparisons in their respective chapters.;The book brings together a team of contributors based at Middlesex University, one of the leading criminology schools in the UK. This book should be valuable reading for anybody seeking an understanding of why crime and criminal justice policy have risen to the top of the political agenda.