Debates in Criminal Justice: Key Themes and Issues

Debates in Criminal Justice: Key Themes and Issues

Debates in Criminal Justice: Key Themes and Issues

Debates in Criminal Justice: Key Themes and Issues


This innovative new book recognises that, while criminal justice studies is a core component of all criminology/criminal justice undergraduate degrees, it can be a confusing, overwhelming and a relatively dry topic despite its importance. Taking an original approach, this book sets out a series of ten key dilemmas - presented as debates - designed to provide students with a clear framework within which to develop their knowledge and analysis in a way that is both effective and an enjoyable learning experience. It is also designed for use by lecturers, who can structure a core unit of their courses around it.

Debates in Criminal Justice provides a new and dynamic framework for learning, making considerable use of the other already available academic key texts, press articles, web sources and more.


From the 1990s onward, criminal justice legislation, policy and organisation have changed at an incredible pace in England and Wales compared with previous decades. This has been matched by a huge growth in what is written about criminal justice, by academics and by others, most notably journalists, who are able to publish much more quickly, but perhaps to different requirements and standards of evidence.

This book does not therefore seek to replace other existing texts and sources, but, rather, to assist in studying them effectively and teaching criminal justice within a framework that is both appealing and interesting to students and staff alike. We have used and developed the debate format for over 10 years and it has been very successful and popular in achieving its learning outcomes in what is potentially a very dry, though necessary, key area within criminological studies.

NB It is important to note that the authors have, for the most part,
argued from relatively extreme positions. They have acted as devil’s
advocates in order to comply with the format demanded by a debate
approach. Therefore, it is important to bear in mind that the views
presented should not be taken as the actual views of those authors.

This book will not give you ‘the answers’. It will identify the key questions within each topic and give you the means to find the sources so that you will be able to answer them in a balanced and logical way. The book contains ten carefully, though contrastingly constructed, debates that are designed to provide the student with a clear basic framework within which they can develop their knowledge and analysis of key criminal justice dilemmas and issues.

The debate format is familiar to most through the approach most often taken in press, radio and other media, and even in student debating societies. As such, the book allows students to start from a level that they are more . . .

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