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Western European Penal Systems

Western European Penal Systems
A Critical Anatomy

Edited by:

September 1995 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
This unique and original textbook offers undergraduates and interested professionals a much-needed description of how the penal system, including both prisons and alternatives to custody, is organized in eight major Western European countries.

Each chapter provides readers with a critical anatomy and empirical overview of the full range of penal sanctions used in each country and an analysis of how these sanctions are implemented. Using statistical data which are not widely available, contributors examine the nature of the penal population in relation to sentencing, to its class, gender and racial composition and to the nature of the offences for which individuals have been confined.

While highlighting several common trends in penal policy and strategy across Europe and seeking to assess to what extent these commonalities are being generated by the wider process of political integration, Western European Penal Systems also demonstrates that each of the eight countries has to an important extent its own culture of punishment which is constantly being reinterpreted and reworked.

Joe Sim, Vincenzo Ruggiero and Mick Ryan
Punishment in Europe
Perceptions and Commonalities

Ren[ac]e van Swaaningen and Gerard de Jonge
The Dutch Prison System and Penal Policy in the 1990s
From Humanitarian Paternalism to Penal Business Management

Vincenzo Ruggiero
Flexibility and Intermittent Emergency in the Italian Penal System
Ermanno Gallo
The Penal System in France
From Correctionalism to Managerialism

Mick Ryan and Joe Sim
The Penal System in England and Wales
Round Up the Usual Suspects

Claudius Messner and Vincenzo Ruggiero
The Penal System between Past and Future

Roberto Bergalli
The Spanish Attempt to Build a Democratic Criminal Justice System
Karen Leander
The Normalization of Swedish Prisons
Mike Tomlinson
Imprisoned Ireland

`Strangely, very little is known about the changing nature of imprisonment throughout Western Europe and the different types of prison regimes which operate in these countries. In a very welcome overview of those developments, Vincenzo Ruggiero, Mick Ryan and Joe Sim have brought together a number of European experts who provide an informed and accessible account of current developments. In the opening chapter the editors provide a useful overview of recent developments.... This collection of articles provides a useful overview of changing penal philosophies and penal practices in a number of countries in Western Europe and Scandinavia and although there is no uniformity in the changes which are identified by the respective authors there are some points of overlap and convergence. These include a general shift towards more punitive penal policies, a growing emphasis upon drug related crimes, the growing percentage of foreign prisoners in most European prisons, the changing role of alternatives to custody and the changing composition of the prison populations. In sum, this book raises the question of the role of imprisonment in Western Europe and elsewhere as we approach the 21st century' - Criminal Justice Matters

`A valuable and entertaining addition to the genre' - LCCJ Newsletter

'Offers those concerned with the comparative study of crime and justice in Europe an excellent example of how such comparison might be made.... Contributors have assembled much new and previously unpublished data and, for that reason alone, the book constitutes a good buy.... Western European Penal Systems marks a major advance in the comparative European study of crime and justice. It is packed with information, the analysis is sharp and intelligent, it holds many surprises, it is contentious and, most important for this reviewer, it offers a new and original perspective on contemporary developments in the penal system in the UK' - Critical Social Policy

'Western European Penal Systems will introduce the reader to a critical evaluation of the political forces which influence the development of penal policy' - Cambridge Review of International Affairs

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ISBN: 9780803977211