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The prevalence of criminal offending in England and Wales, its causes, the harms that result, and what can be done to counter it, have been in the forefront of public policy concerns throughout the second half of the twentieth century. The differing ways in which successive governments and policy-makers have responded has been the theme of Lord Windlesham's four volumes on 'Responses to Crime'. In this final part of his survey, covering the closing years of the century, the author analyses how the dominant influence of public opinion, systematically measured, evaluated, and translated into policy decisions, interacted with a trend towards retribution and a harsher penal climate. Despite the relief afforded by electronically monitored early release the numbers in prison rose to record levels, with consequent failures to achieve targets relating to conditions and treatment. Since the 1997 General Election New labour's modernizing mission has led to far-reaching managerial and structural reforms in the process of justice. The Crown Prosecution Service, Legal Aid, and the Probation Service have been reorganized; a new system of youth justice instituted; and mandatory sentencing, inherited from the Conservatives, preserved and extended. This volume contains detailed commentaries on the controversy over access to jury trial, the not yet completed reform of criminal legal aid, and the policy imperative of strengthening the enforcement of community penalties. 'Dispensing Justice' also includes a comparative study of the development of public defender systems for indigent persons charged with criminal offences in the United States.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780198298441
ISBN-10: 0198298447
Format: Hardback
(226mm x 147mm x 30mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Clarendon Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 13-Sep-2001
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Lord Windlesham

Lord Windlesham is the Principal of Brasenose College, Oxford and President of Victim Support. He was a former Minister at the Home Office and Northern Ireland Office, and as Chairman of the Parole Board for England and Wales for six years in the 1980s.

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