Sentencing is the process through which the legitimacy of punishment is declared and justified. However, it is increasingly portrayed as a social activity which should be more responsive to the pluralistic needs and values of individuals and communities in contemporary society. It will therefore have to adapt to an array of different perceptions of what justice is and how it should be delivered, as well as different sensitivities and emotional responses to sentencing processes and outcomes.
At a time when fundamental questions are being asked about the relevance of existing forms of punishment in contemporary society, Sentencing argues for a profound normative understanding of the relationship between sentencing and its perception by citizens – vital if we are to fully comprehend the nature and significance of punishment, and the particular challenges it faces as a force for social cohesion. Henham explores this theme by focusing on key areas of debate within the field:
Henham suggests that a greater focus on the relationship between penal ideology and the impact of sentencing in the wider community is essential for effective future policy-making in this area. Sentencing will be useful for both undergraduate and postgraduate students of law, criminology, criminal justice and sociology, as well as for academics and criminal justice policymakers.
The punishment of citizens is practiced everywhere, but raises substantive normative questions about the justification for sentencing and its distribution. Sentencing provides a terrific exploration of all the major issues covering a wide range with clarity and insight that will benefit students. Ralph Henham offers a critical and fresh perspective on how we might better understand sentencing and how its practice might be improved. —Thom Brooks, Reader in Law, Durham University, Author of Punishment
Introduction: Time for a Paradigm Shift 1. Sentencing and Social Reality 2. Gender and Sentencing 3. Race and Access to Justice 4. Sentencing Impact and Governance 5. Evaluating Sentencing. Notes. References. Index
Key Ideas in Criminology explores the major concepts, issues, debates and controversies in criminology. The series provides authoritative essays on central topics within the broader area of criminology. Each book adopts a strong individual ‘line’, constituting original essays rather than literature surveys and offers lively and agenda setting treatments of their subject matter.
These books will appeal to students, teachers and researchers in criminology, sociology, social policy, cultural studies, law and political science.