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Sentencing and PunishmentThe Quest for Justice

Sentencing and Punishment: The Quest for Justice (4th edn)

Susan Easton and Christine Piper
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date: 24 June 2024

p. 2438. Justice in the modern prisonlocked

p. 2438. Justice in the modern prisonlocked

  • Susan EastonSusan EastonProfessor of Law, Brunel University
  •  and Christine PiperChristine PiperEmeritus Professor of Law, Brunel University


This chapter focuses on the treatment of adult prisoners, examining a number of aspects of prison life as well as considering the aims of imprisonment. Key developments since 1990 are considered, including the Woolf Report, managerialism and privatisation, the impact of the Human Rights Act 1998, and the debate on prisoners’ right to vote, to assess whether the just treatment of prisoners has been achieved. While substantial improvements in prison regimes have been made since the early 1990s, there has also been considerable pressure on them from the expanding prison population. The problem of reconciling respect for the human rights of prisoners with the administrative needs of the prison system and the deterrent function of prisons will be highlighted. The potential to limit prison expansion in the current political climate will also be considered.

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