Community Punishment : European perspectives book cover
1st Edition

Community Punishment
European perspectives

ISBN 9781138818644
Published August 3, 2015 by Routledge
272 Pages 8 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

In Community Punishment: European perspectives, the authors place punishment in the community under the spotlight by exploring the origins, evolution and adaptations of supervision in 11 European jurisdictions. For most people, punishment in the criminal justice system is synonymous with imprisonment. Yet, both in Europe and in the USA, the numbers of people under some form of penal supervision in the community far exceeds the numbers in prison, and many prisoners are released under supervision. Written and edited by leading scholars in the field, this collection advances the sociology of punishment by illuminating the neglected but crucial phenomenon of ‘mass supervision’.

As well as putting criminological and penological theories to the test in an examination of their ability to explain the evolution of punishment beyond the prison, and across diverse states, the contributors to this volume also assess the appropriateness of the term ‘community punishment’ in different parts of Europe. Engaging in a serious exploration of common themes and differences in the jurisdictions included in the collection, the authors go on to examine how ‘community punishment’ came into being in their jurisdiction and how its institutional forms and practices have been legitimated and re-legitimated in response to shifting social, cultural and political contexts.

This book is essential reading for academics and students involved in the study of both community punishment and comparative penology, but will also be of great interest to criminal justice policymakers, managers and practitioners.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Studying the Evolution of ‘Community Punishment’ in Comparative Context, Gwen Robinson and Fergus McNeill  2. The new generation of community penalties in Belgium. More is less…, Kristel Beyens  3. Three Narratives and a Funeral: Community Punishment in England & Wales, Gwen Robinson  4. France: Legal architecture, political posturing, ‘prisonbation’ and adieu social work, Martine Herzog-Evans  5. "Der Resozialisierungsgrundsatz" – Social Reintegration as the dominant narrative for community punishment in Germany?, Christine Morgenstern  6. Community Punishment in the Netherlands: A history of crises and incidents, Miranda Boone  7. Contingent Legitimacy: Community Sanctions in Northern Ireland, Nicola Carr  8. The Evolution of Probation Supervision in the Republic of Ireland: Continuity, Challenge and Change, Deirdre Healy  9. Community Sanctions and Measures in Romania: Empty shells, emulation and Europeanization, Ioan Durnescu  10. Reductionism, Rehabilitation and Reparation: Community Punishment in Scotland, Fergus McNeill  11. Community Punishments in Spain: A Tale of Two Administrations, Ester Blay and Elena Larrauri  12. Philanthropy, Welfare State and Managerial Treatment: Three Phases of Community Punishment in Sweden, Kerstin Svensson  13. Conclusion: Community Punishment and the Penal State, Fergus McNeill and Gwen Robinson.

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Gwen Robinson is Reader in Criminal Justice at the University of Sheffield, UK. After qualifying as a probation practitioner in 1996, she has pursued a career in academic research, and has published widely in the areas of community sanctions, offender rehabilitation and restorative justice. Her recent publications include Restorative Justice in Practice: Evaluating What Works for Victims and Offenders (co-authored with Joanna Shapland and Angela Sorsby) published in 2011 by Routledge. She is co-leader of the COST Action on Offender Supervision in Europe’s Working Group on Practicing Supervision.

Fergus McNeill is Professor of Criminology and Social Work at the University of Glasgow, where he works in the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and is Head of Sociology. His research and publications address institutions, cultures and practices of punishment, rehabilitation and reintegration, particularly in the community. His recent publications include Offender Supervision in Europe (co-edited with Kristel Beyens), published by Palgrave in 2013 and Understanding Penal Practice (co-edited with Ioan Durnescu), published by Routledge in 2014. He is the Chair of the COST Action on Offender Supervision in Europe.


‘"Community punishments" are characteristic of criminal justice systems everywhere, but as this new volume vividly illustrates, the nature of these measures varies markedly from place to place and from time to time. Drawing on specially-commissioned expert accounts of community penalties in eleven European nations, Robinson and McNeill provide a fascinating, indispensable guide to the problems, trends and controversies that affect community-based punishment in Europe today. The result is a deepened theoretical understanding of the important issues at stake.’ - David Garland, Professor, School of Law and the Department of Sociology, New York University, USA 

‘Notwithstanding new interest in comparative criminology, and descriptions of what is available in Europe, we know relatively little about how community punishments and interventions are conceived, so this is a hugely welcome book. The editors and contributors have put together a scholarly collection of European case studies which not only locate different forms of community punishments in different contexts, but reveal adaptations over time, and in particular the interplay of managerial, punitive, rehabilitative, reparative and technological pushes and pulls. This is an insightful and rich text which addresses how community punishments have evolved and survived in late modern social and penal conditions; it is a wholly interesting and original book of real importance.’ - Loraine Gelsthorpe, Professor of Criminology & Criminal Justice, University of Cambridge and President of the British Society of Criminology, UK

"Community Punishment: European Perspectives, edited by Fergus McNeill and Gwen Robinson, goes beyond simply charting patterns of community punishment across Europe to also explore how they are underpinned by social, political, historical and cultural factors. It considers how and why community punishment has been legitimized and evolved across Europe in response to differing local context and offers an engaging account of the contributions and limitations (methodological and theoretical) of comparative criminological research. For all of these achievements, it forms a very welcome addition to the study of both community supervision and comparative criminology… Such rich and theoretically informed accounts of penal variation and change are essential if we are to understand, and ultimately reimagine, community punishment." - Katrina Morrison, University of Napier, Edinburgh, UK, Criminology and Criminal Justice