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ISBN: 9780195561081

Published: 30 Nov 09

Availability: Available




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Punishment and Sentencing

Risk, Rehabilitation and Restitution

Melissa Bull

Punishment and Sentencing uses a case study approach to bring to life our shifting attitudes to punishment, and its relationship to changing technologies and programs of control. The text identifies the key concepts of risk, rehabilitation and restitution to give students an accessible framework for understanding the different approaches taken, in theory and in practice, to sentencing and punishment.


Includes detailed coverage of recent developments in punishment, and the trends away from imprisonment.

Uses contemporary examples, such as terrorism and hooning laws, to engage the students.

Integrates philosophical and theoretical ideas with empirical research in a way that demonstrates how the ideas work in practice.

Part 1: Introduction 

1. It’s not just about the prison

Colonial Australia: a prison without walls

The birth of Australian prisons

Australia’s carceral archipelago

An‘other’ history of Australian punishment

Contemporary alternatives to prison

2. Penological Principles of punishment and sentencing

Bentham’s Utilitarianism and the end of transportation

Punishment and Reform – Offenders as broken machines


Just Deserts and Retribution


Restorative Justice and communitarianism

Other innovations in justice

3. Some Social Perspectives on Punishment and Sentencing


Critical theory: Marxist, Feminist and Post-colonialism

Foucault: Discipline and Punish

Risk and governmentality


Part 2: Risk 

4. Why Megan didn’t make it to Australia: Child Sexual Offences and Community Notification


The problem: Child Sex Offending

Responding to Sexual Violence Offences Against Children

Australian Responses to Child sex offending

Penological principles: The utility of incapacitation?

Thinking theoretically: civilising vengeance

5. Terrorism: Risk, retaliation and preventive detention

The problem of Terrorism

Causes and responses

Responding to Terrorism in Australia

Penological principles: Pre-emptive prevention

Thinking theoretically: Risk and retaliation

Part 3: Rehabilitation 

6. Drug courts: Clinic or Panopticon?

Alternative strategies in the unwinnable ‘war on drugs’

The Australian Alliance

Penological principles: Just treatment or preventive punishment

Thinking theoretically: The panopticon and beyond

7. ‘Possession is 9/10ths of the law’: Indigenous justice and the decolonisation of punishment 

Indigenous people in the criminal justice system

Indigenous Justice Programs

Penological principles: the politics of partnership

Thinking Theoretically: The decolonisation of justice?

8. Responding to domestic violence: Special pleas and specialist courts

The problem with domestic violence

Responding to women as offenders: battered women’s syndrome

Responding to women as victims: Domestic violence courts and programs for men

Penological principles: Punishment and protection

Thinking theoretically: Feminism and its discontents

Part 4. Restitution 

9. Youth Justice and Group Conferencing: Restoration and Restitution

A brief history of responses to young offenders

Australia as leader in Restorative Justice and Youth Justice Conferencing

Penological principles: Restoration or Restitution 

Thinking theoretically: YJC as rituals of responsibilisation

10. ‘Hitting hoons where it hurts’: From fines to forfeiture

The problem of hooning

Penalties for traffic offences

Penological principles: deterrence, management and incapacitation

Thinking theoretically: Justifying ‘draconian’ penalty 

11. The three ‘Rs’ of the penological

Melissa Bull – Senior Lecturer, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, Griffith University


Read a sample chapter from Punishment and Sentencing:

Chapter 1: It’s not just about the prison