The Penal System: An Introduction

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9780761953289: The Penal System: An Introduction

'A marvelous British text-reference that comprehensively introduces the penal system in England and Wales, not only for students and practitioners, but for all who are increasingly concerned about the morality and the future of penal systems worldwide' - "Reference and Research Book News". 'The authors appear to do an excellent job of describing the criminal justice system of England, and how the penal system fits into, and is affected by it' - "Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice".Now fully revised, this highly successful textbook provides a clear and comprehensive introduction to the penal system in England and Wales. Michael Cavadino and James Dignan examine all aspects of the penal process, including details of the recent dramatic developments which have made the punishment of offenders and the escalating 'penal crisis' one of the most hotly debated issues of the day. They also outline the theories which purport to justify and explain the practice of punishment and consider their value in helping us understand the penal system. The Second Edition presents a stimulating account of the current crisis. The authors argue that the penal system not only suffers from severe practical problems but is morally indefensible, and they highlight the radical reforms that are urgently needed. Throughout the book, comparisons are drawn with other penal systems from around the world.

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About the Author:

Michael Cavadino, who is Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Central Lancashire, is an internationally known author and researcher in the fields of penology (the study of punishment) and mental health law. He is co-author of the leading textbook on the penal system of England and Wales (M Cavadino, J Dignan and G Mair, The Penal System: An Introduction, 5 th ed., Sage Publications 2013). His other works include Mental Health Law in Context: Doctors' Orders? (Dartmouth, 1989) and M Cavadino and J Dignan, Penal Systems: A Comparative Approach ( Sage Publications, 2006).


"There are few 'must buy' books for students of criminology and criminal justice, but since its first edition in 1992 The Penal System: An Introduction has been one of them. For accuracy and scope, as well as its remarkable combination of scholarly rigour and readability, the book has no equal, and it has only got better through successive editions."

David Smith, Professor of Criminology, Lancaster University.

"For more than ten years Cavadino and Dignan have provided by far the best policy relevant and theoretically informed account of the British penal system. This new edition has only the high standards of its predecessors to beat. Cavadino and Dignan may not have managed to change the penal system for the better with their book, but no one has delivered a more accessible or intelligent account of why it is so hard to reform."

Mike Nellis, Professor of Criminal and Community Justice, University of Strathclyde

'.. the most authoritative and sophisticated textbook on the penal system of England and Wales. It is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand the causes, character and consequences of the current penal 'crisis'.

David Downes, Mannheim Centre of Criminology, London School of Economics.

'What do you look for in a good textbook ? You would expect it to be as up-to-date as possible. To be presented in a clear and accessible style. To cover the issues comprehensively. The Penal System delivers in all of these ways. Mick Cavadino and Jim Dignan write with passion and authority, which makes for an immensely readable book. If there is such a thing as an ideal textbook, then this is it.'

George Mair, Professor in Criminal Justice, Liverpool John Moores University.

'…remains the most comprehensive, up-to-date, and readable text on the subject.'

Yvonne Jewkes, Reader in Criminology, The Open University

'The perfect mix of the theoretical and the practical, Cavadino and Dignan's updated book is the smartest, cutting-edge textbook available on the crucial subject of penology.'

Shadd Maruna, Reader in Criminology, Queen's University Belfast

'…..the book remains an essential resource for students in criminology and criminal justice. The authors are hugely effective in delivering a comprehensive guide to criminal justice issues in the 21st century. Students will also find the self-study guide to electronic sources immensely helpful.'

Loraine Gelsthorpe, Deputy Director and Director of Postgraduate Programmes, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge.

"This book provides the reader with a fascinating insight into the factors that helped shape penal philosophies and approaches ot punishment across a variety of different countries." —Barbara Mason, London School of Economics and Political Science (British Journal of Sociology 2007-08-17)

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James Dignan
ISBN 10: 0761953280 ISBN 13: 9780761953289
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