Reconceptualising Penality: A Comparative Perspective on Punitiveness in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Reconceptualising Penality

A Comparative Perspective on Punitiveness in Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand, 1st Edition

By Claire Hamilton


252 pages

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Hardback: 9781409463160
pub: 2014-08-06
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pub: 2016-04-22
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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.


'Overall, this book offers an important expansion and corrective to the current body of work on punitiveness…This book will be a valuable addition to the field for those with an academic interest in globalisation of criminal justice or in the 'punitive turn'. For the more general reader, this offers a means for critical reflection on developments in policy and practice, with all of the complexity and contradictions, opportunities and threats that entails.'

Dr Jamie Bennett, Governor of HMP Grendon & Springhill

About the Author

Dr Claire Hamilton LLB. (Ling. Franc.); Barrister-at-Law; M.Litt; Dip EurCon in Human Rights; Diploma in Third Level Learning and Teaching practised as a barrister in criminal law until 2004 when she became a full time academic. She is currently a Lecturer in Criminology in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work in Queen’s University Belfast.

About the Series

New Advances in Crime and Social Harm

This series seeks to publish original cutting-edge contributions to the fields of criminology, criminal justice and penology. Volumes include discussions of Foucault and 'governmentality'; critical criminology; victims and criminal justice; corporate crime; comparative criminology and women's prisons.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Criminology