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This chapter studies criminal justice policies, practices, and the people who work within the system. It begins by tracing the origins and influences of criminal justice policies. Criminal justice policies predominantly come from the government, but other organisations and individuals such as academics, the media, corporations, and lobbyists can influence them. The motivations behind these policy influencers may vary, but they all share the ultimate aim of ensuring that their preferred strategy is implemented in practice. The chapter then considers the significant impact that ‘penal populism’ can exert on policy, and how government policy is shaping the ways in which the ‘adversarial-lite’ principle is implemented. It assesses use of both of those policies in practice in the courtroom and the community to see how key principles can play out in reality. Finally, the chapter reflects on the effects of all the components upon the people who work in the criminal justice system.


Anthea Hucklesby

This chapter explores issues relating to the prosecution process. It introduces some of the main theoretical and conceptual issues with the prosecution process, and considers a number of key trends in recent criminal justice law and policy. The discussions cover the agencies involved in the prosecution process; making sense of the criminal justice process; diminishing defendants' rights; and differential treatment.


Lucy Welsh, Layla Skinns, and Andrew Sanders

Criminal Justice provides a comprehensive overview of the criminal justice system in England and Wales (excluding punishment), as well as thought-provoking insights into how it might be altered and improved and research that might be needed to help accomplish this. Tracing the procedures surrounding the appre-hension, investigation, trial and appeal against conviction of suspected offenders, this book is the ideal com-panion for law and criminology students alike. As the authors combine the relevant legislation with fresh research findings and policy initiatives, the resulting text is a fascinating blend of socio-legal analysis. Whilst retaining its authoritative treatment of the issues at the heart of criminal justice, the book has been fully updated with recent developments, including terrorism legislation and the initial Covid-related restrictions introduced in early-mid 2020. In this, the book’s 5th edition: two experienced new co-authors, Dr Layla Skinns and Dr Lucy Welsh, join Andrew Sanders (Richard Young having decided, 25+ years after the 1st edition, to do other things); the text features chapter summaries and selected further reading lists to support the student and encourage further research; the content of the book has been fully updated to include coverage of new legislation, case law, research and policy developments; and the text is enriched by the new authors’ specialist research into accountability, police custody, magistrates’ courts and criminal legal aid. The theoretical structure of the earlier editions is retained, but developed further by consideration of ‘core values’ in criminal justice and the impact of neoliberalism.


This chapter charts some of the major developments in modern British society against which changes in criminal justice policy should be seen: the emergence of a culture of control amidst economic, technological, and social changes; the politicisation of law and order and the democratisation of criminal justice; the development of a risk society; and the emerging dominance of managerialism. It then discusses the notion of the ‘Big Society’ and considers its impact on criminal justice policy. The final section outlines some events that have driven changes in the direction of criminal justice policy.


This chapter explores recent developments in restorative justice theory, research, and practice. It examines reasons why it has been challenging to define restorative justice and offers a comprehensive definition that articulates the relationship between values, processes, and outcomes. It then explores the main theoretical traditions that account for the claims of restorative justice: shame theories, procedural justice theories, and ritual theories. Following this, it reviews the empirical evidence on how offenders and victims experience restorative justice compared to court, and whether it can reduce reoffending. This chapter also discusses contemporary debates around restorative justice and punishment. It concludes by offering an assessment of the future of restorative justice.


13. Public Criminology:  

Theory and Policy

This chapter examines the implications of theories of crime and deviance for public policy and practice. It first considers why criminologists devote few of their resources to political activity in general and the making of public policy in particular, with emphasis on the issues of role-definition, translatability, and salience. It then turns to some theoretical perspectives about the relationship between deviance and social policy, focusing on the work of the Chicago School of Sociology as well as functionalist theories, anomie theory, and the projects that put forward a theory based on a detailed analysis of the links between crime, delinquency, and social structure. It also looks at the work of Thomas Mathiesen in the field of a critical criminological penal reform project that advocates abolitionism. The chapter concludes with a discussion of public criminology.