1st Edition

Understanding Criminal Justice A Critical Introduction

By Azrini Wahidin, Nicola Carr Copyright 2013
    184 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    184 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Few subjects provoke as much public fascination and political concern as crime, criminality, criminology, and criminal justice policy and practice. Understanding Criminal Justice seeks to provide students with a critical introduction to the range of theoretical, policy and operational issues faced by the criminal justice system in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

    It anticipates little or no prior knowledge of criminal justice, and seeks to provide an introduction to the area. This critical textbook provides both a thorough overview of the procedures central to the workings of the criminal justice system and a distillation of the topical debates that surround it. It outlines the political and historical context, detailing key procedures and challenging students to engage with current debates. Containing chapters on policing, prosecution, community justice and alternative modes of justice, this text provides a comprehensive coverage of the key topics included within undergraduate criminology programmes at an introductory level.

    Written in a lively and accessible style, this book will also be of interest to general readers and practitioners in the criminal justice system.

    1. What is crime? 2. What is the criminal justice system? 3. Police and policing 4. Prosecution and the court process 5. Probation and community justice 6. Prisons and the abolitionist debate 7.Youth justice: Context, systems and practices 8. Restorative justice: An alternative mode of justice? 9. Conclusion: Beyond criminal justice?


    Azrini Wahidin is a Reader in Criminology and Criminal Justice in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, where she teaches criminology and criminal justice. She has written extensively in the field of older offenders in the criminal justice system and women in prison. Her books include: Older Women in the Criminal Justice System: Running Out of Time (Jessica Kingsley, 2004), Foucault and Ageing (Nova Press, 2005), Understanding Prison Staff (Willan, 2007) and Ageing, Crime and Society (Willan, 2006). Her current research interests include the resettlement needs of young offenders and the experiences of Republican political prisoners.

    Nicola Carr is a lecturer in the School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast, where she teaches social work law and practice in the criminal justice system. She is a qualified probation officer and has worked with both adults and young people in this context. Her research interests include community sentences, crime and criminal justice in the media, and narrative approaches in the study of offending behaviour.