There are visible signs that the "get-tough" era of punishment is finally winding down.
A "get-smart" agenda has emerged that aims to reduce costs and crime by reducing the incarceration of non-violent drug offenders, expanding use of community-based corrections, revising sentencing structures, and supporting offender re-entry into the community.
This change in policy affords an opportunity to re-examine and challenge certain other conventions in the study and practice of punishment.
Each chapter of Rethinking Punishment examines a convention and posits arguments that challenge that convention and expand the conversation.
These arguments are based on the prior literature, existing and original data, and historical documents.
These conventions and arguments for rethinking punishment are framed accordingly:Justifying Penal PolicyDefining the Attributes of PunishmentMeasuring the Scope and Severity of PunishmentEvaluating Effectiveness in PunishmentFinally, the author provides specific recommendations for research and policy based on these original arguments.
Drawing on underlying philosophical, empirical and political issues and offering a critical discussion of the relationship between research, policy and practice, this book makes compelling and instructive reading for students taking courses in criminal justice, corrections, philosophy of punishment, the sociology of punishment, and law and justice.