Alternatives to Prison: Punishment, Custody, and the Community

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Newbury Park, 1990 - Social Science - 205 pages
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This comprehensive and accessible textbook outlines and critically appraises alternatives to custody. At a time of escalating prison costs, severe overcrowding and rising recidivism rates punishment in the community is widely seen as the means by which these problems can be solved. How valid is this claim? Vass traces the development of the prison, its recurrent crises and the search for workable alternatives. Can alternative punishments succeed in diverting offenders from imprisonment or will they inevitably be used as extra punitive measures by the court? How will they be enforced? What will their effect be on both offenders and the community at large? Drawing on international experiences of diverting offenders from custody through means such as tagging and electronic monitoring, he warns that in the absence of a coherent criminal justice policy these measures are unlikely to provide a solution. He assesses the challenges faced by probation and welfare services in having to develop punishment in the community. Among other alternatives including tagging and probation day centres, Vass also presents case study accounts drawing on firsthand experience of a community service order. Always engaging and lively, Alternatives to Prison will be an essential textbook for students of sociology, social policy, social work, criminology, youth and community work. Practitioners and policymakers in criminal justice, probation and social work will also benefit from its timely and important analysis and overview of the situation.

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Contents

The prison crisis in the 1980s
18
The debates rage on
37
The case reexamined
77
Copyright

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