Drastic increases in the use of imprisonment; the introduction of ’three strikes’ laws and mandatory sentences; restrictions on parole - all of these developments appear to signify a new, harsher era or ’punitive turn’. Yet these features of criminal justice are not universally present in all Western countries. Drawing on empirical data, Hamilton examines the prevalence of harsher penal policies in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, thereby demonstrating the utility of viewing criminal justice from the perspective of smaller jurisdictions. This highly innovative book is thoroughly critical of the way in which punitiveness is currently measured by leading criminologists. It is essential reading for students and scholars of criminology, penology, criminal justice and socio-legal studies, as well as criminal lawyers and practitioners.
’The study of punitive criminal justice policy has been badly lacking in comparative international research and Hamilton has chosen some ideal case studies to contrast here in a mixed-method tour de force - a real model for how criminology can and should be done.’ Shadd Maruna, author of Making Good: How Ex-Convicts Reform and Rebuild Their Lives ’Hamilton has moved the analysis of punitiveness within penology beyond a reliance on the shorthands often used hitherto. By developing a new framework of punitiveness, this work demonstrates the importance of the local and the global in patterns of punitiveness in small jurisdictions.’ Katrina Morrison, Edinburgh Napier University, UK ’Dr Hamilton’s book provides an excellent examination of the extent to which the criminal justice systems of Ireland, Scotland, and New Zealand are becoming increasingly punitive. She demonstrates an excellent ability to engage with contemporary penological and criminological accounts of structural changes in criminal justice practices, and displays a strong commitment to evidence-based analysis, constantly tacking back and forth between generalised accounts and local and particular practices. Trading in careful analysis and nuanced insights, the book provides a wealth of diverse materials for the reader to consider in determining the extent to which a new punitiveness has emerged. The result of her endeavours is an excellent book, one that revels in the messiness of the present�, a contested site where central and peripheral penal practices cannot easily be compartmentalised.’ Shane Kilcommins, University of Limerick, Ireland