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240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
As part of the Sage Course Companion series, this book provides a comprehensive introduction to the discipline of penology. It provides hints and tips on how to apply this information to maximum effect in coursework and examinations.

This is a highly accessible text is for those new to prison studies, or for anyone looking for a refresher. It provides structure and background for all prison and punishment modules on undergraduate criminology/ criminal justice degrees. Written in a straightforward and clear style, the book gives detailed explanations for all academic terms used.

Key Features
  • Provides easy access to the key themes in punishment and prison studies
  • Presents helpful summaries of the approach taken by the main course textbooks
  • Offers guidance on the essential study skills required to pass the course
  • Helps with developing critical thinking
  • Includes Taking it Further sections that suggest how readers can extent their thinking beyond the "received wisdom"
  • Gives pointers to success in course exams and written assessment exercises

Penology is an essential reference point for undergraduate students in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, law and related fields.
Thinking like a penologist: an introduction to your course companion
Justifications of Punishment
Theorising about Prisons and Punishment
Sources of Penal Knowledge
Comparative Penologies
The History and Aims of Imprisonment
Penal Policy
Penal Administration and Prisoner Populations
Sociologies of Prison Life
Penal Accountability
Probation and Community Penalties
Future Directions and Alternate Visions
PART THREE: STUDY, WRITING AND REVISION SKILLS (in Collaboration with David McIlroy)
How to Get the Most Out of Your Lectures and Seminars
Writing a Dissertation
Essay-writing Hints
Revision Hints
Exam Hints

This is an excellent introductory text book which covers a wide range of issues, concepts, theorists and questions relating to study of penal institutions or penology. Whilst it is a friendly text in the sense that it is not overly wordy, it is also authoratative, consisting of an overview of key issues and gives concise (often bullet pointed) summaries of important legislation and historical developments... This makes it an excellant first year undergraduate recommendation, which not only offers basic explanations but introduces philosophical questions and topics such as the criminological imagination and social constructionism... Overall this text is highly recommended for anyone studying penology for the first time. It is informative, concise, authoritative, lively, easy to read and affordable.

Dr Joanne Massey
Manchester Metropolitan University

'A highly engaging and accessible text that will absorb students into the study of Penology for many years to come. The book will appeal to theoretical purists and policy actors alike. Most of all, it is students wishing to immerse themselves in the hidden and complex world of the prison who will find this text stimulating and through-provoking. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and wish only that such texts were available during my studies.'

Dr Laura Piacentini
Reader in Criminology, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow

'A clearly written introduction to penology studies that not only summarises the criminological literature but also provides useful advice to undergraduate students on essay-writing, getting the most out of lectures, revision and handling exam nerves.'

Mary Bosworth
Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

'An invaluable, highly accessible guide for all students wanting to get the most out of their studies of punishment and penal institutions.'

Dr Elaine Crawley
Senior Lecturer in Criminology, University of Salford

An excellent course companion.

Mr Jack Dees
Ealing Law School, University of West London
May 18, 2012

Good, basic introduction to prison and sentencing.

Graham Smyth
Department of Sociology, Manchester Metropolitan University
January 10, 2012

An easy-to-read and accessible introductory text for undergraduates on the key issues and themes within penology.

Ms Helen Arnold
Social Science , University Campus Suffolk
July 11, 2011

I will be recommending this as an essential read for my BA Criminology students as well as students studying Prison specific modules.
The text is accessible to students and breaks key issues down into understandable chunks which is essentail for anyone new to studying within this sector.

Miss Laura Firth
Public Services, Runshaw College
April 6, 2011

This text is particularly suited to this first year criminal justice process module as it is presented in a logical and clear manner with the additional benefits of advice for students on study skills and literature reviewing. Students using this text are introduced to key theorists and perspectives whilst a contemporary context of penology is presented.
The structuring of this title shows a close resemblance to the teaching schedule of this module, not least developing ideas on the alternatives to prison.

I particularly like the explicit advice on learning activities and clear identification of key themes within each section highlighted in text boxes.

Scott provides a breadth of examples of penal practices through international comparisons and also contrasts penal policy and reforms through different time periods.

An excellent text that fuses the theoretical, practical and policy debates surrounding penology clearly and concisely.

Dr Paul Taylor
Social Studies and Counselling, Chester University
November 13, 2010

This is a very accessible book, providing an introduction to key discourses and debates. In addition, key concepts and terminology are explained in a comprehensive manner. The glossary provides further support.
The writing and exam support is an additional bonus for all students.

Dr Sharon Morley
Dept of Social & Communication Studies, Chester University
September 14, 2010

This is an excellent and highly accessible little gem of a book. It provides students with clear and concise information relating to all the key themes running through the course, as well as offering a range of useful study skills.

Mrs Nikki Shelton
Department of Criminology, University of Leicester
December 18, 2009

Sample Materials & Chapters

Part One PDF

David Scott

David Scott is senior lecturer in Criminology at Liverpool John Moores University.  David has published widely on prisons, punishment and critical criminology.  Recent book titles include Critique and Dissent; Beyond Criminal Justice; The Caretakers of Punishment; and Why Prison?  David is a former coordinator of the European Group for the Study of Deviance and Social Control and is a member of the steering committee of the Reclaim Justice Network. He is also an associate editor of the Howard Journal of Criminal Justice and is on the editorial board of Criminal Justice Matters. More About Author

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