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Penal Systems

Penal Systems
A Comparative Approach

  • Michael Cavadino - University of Central Lancashire, UK
  • James Dignan - formerly Professor of Comparative Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Leeds

Other Titles in:
Corrections/Penology | Criminology

400 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Penal Systems: A Comparative Approach is a comprehensive and original introduction to the comparative study of punishment.

Analyzing twelve countries, authors Michael Cavadino and James Dignan offer an integrated and theoretically rigorous approach to comparative penology. They draw upon material provided by a team of eminent penologists to produce an important and highly readable contribution to scholarship in this area.

Early chapters introduce the reader to comparative penology, set out the theoretical framework and consider whether there is currently a 'global penal crisis.' Each country is then discussed in turn. Chapters on comparative youth justice and the privatization of prisons follow. Comparisons between countries are drawn within each chapter, giving the reader a synoptic and truly comparative vision of penality in different jurisdictions.

David Downes
Introducing Comparative Penology
Globalized Penal Crisis?
The United States of America
Law and Order Ideology, Hyperincarceration and Looming Crisis

England and Wales
Stop-Go and the Upwards Zig-Zag

Australia and New Zealand
Neo-Liberal Punitiveness Down Under

South Africa
The Transition From Apartheid

Archetypal Corporatism

The Netherlands
A Beacon of Tolerance Dimmed

France and Italy
Corporatism and Catholicism

Sweden and Finland
Nordic Social Democracy

Iron Fist in a Velvet Penal Glove

Comparative Youth Justice
Neo-Liberal Youth Justice Systems
Youth Justice Systems: Corporatist Variants
General Patterns in Youth Justice?
Prison Privatization
'A Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever?'

'Cavadino and Dignan's Penal Systems: A Comparative Approach looks across national boundaries to see how penal systems differ and why. It is hands-down the most comprehensive and up-to-date book on the subject and should become a staple textbook for use in law and social science courses on comparative penal policy and practice' - Michael H. Tonry,

University of Minnesota

'This book is an important addition to the literature on punishment. It is a highly readable and very well researched overview of some of the major differences in punitiveness between neo-liberal, corporatist and social democratic countries… This is a major contribution to comparative penology by two of the leading authors in this field' - Alison Liebling, Director of the Prisons Research Centre, UK

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Mick Cavadino

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, 5th 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). More About Author

James Dignan

SAGE Knowledge is the ultimate social sciences digital library for students, researchers, and faculty. Hosting more than 4,400 titles, it includes an expansive range of SAGE eBook and eReference content, including scholarly monographs, reference works, handbooks, series, professional development titles, and more.

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