Penal Systems: A Comparative Approach is a comprehensive and original introduction to the comparative study of punishment.

Analyzing twelve countries, authors Michael Cavadino and James Dignan offer an integrated and theoretically rigorous approach to comparative penology. They draw upon material provided by a team of eminent penologists to produce an important and highly readable contribution to scholarship in this area.

Early chapters introduce the reader to comparative penology, set out the theoretical framework and consider whether there is currently a ‘global penal crisis.’ Each country is then discussed in turn. Chapters on comparative youth justice and the privatization of prisons follow. Comparisons between countries are drawn within each chapter, giving the reader a synoptic and truly comparative vision of penality in different jurisdictions.

General Patterns in Youth Justice?

General patterns in youth justice?

We will conclude our account of youth justice approaches by drawing attention to two very striking ‘patterns of penality’ that are also very much in line with the radical pluralist thesis. The first of these patterns relates to the various age thresholds that determine the extent to which young offenders may be exposed to the imposition of formal social control measures based on the application of criminal sanctions. Two age thresholds are of particular interest. The first relates to the ‘age of criminal responsibility’, which normally refers to the age at which young people first become liable to be prosecuted for criminal offences,1 while the second relates to the minimum age at which young offenders become ...

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