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Use of Punishment

NCJ Number
Sean McConville
Date Published
288 pages
This book presents essays which offer assessments of the current thinking about the use of punishment in our times and future trends in punishment.
Today, punishment has moved into a central position in politics and has become an often controversial subject. In attempting to convey the vagueness of penal policy, this book provides preliminary observations from scholars underlining the dramatic elements of punishment, not imprisonment, and the distinctive characteristics of the institutions that administer punishment. Specifically, an overview of thinking regarding punishment and the current and future trends of punishment are presented from various disciplinary perspectives. Eight essays are presented that attend to the complexity of the various arguments, have a cautiousness about contradictions in penal thought and a reluctance to draw apparently straightforward and simplistic conclusions. The essays range from theology to economics and deal with issues as varied as the impact of modern genetics on criminal policy, youth gangs’ perceptions of punishment, and the effectiveness of hitting children. In addition, they address current issues, as well as approaches that include restorative justice, and the causes and consequences of the vast expansion in imprisonment in the United States. The book provides a challenging, yet highly readable assessment of current thinking about the use of punishment. Index


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