The criminal justice system is wide ranging; from the crimes themselves and policing to the sentencing of offenders and prisons. In this Very Short Introduction Julian V. Roberts draws upon the latest research and current practices from a number of different countries around the world. Focusing on the adversarial model of justice found in common law countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia, he discusses topics such as the uses of imprisonment, the effects of capital punishment, and the purposes of sentencing. Considering the role of the victim throughout the criminal justice system, as well as public knowledge and attitudes towards criminal justice, Roberts critically assesses the way in which the system functions and its importance around the world.
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1: Introducing criminal justice
2: Between the crime and court
3: The case goes to court
4: Why punish ... and how?
5: The inside story of life inside
6: Release from prison
7: Hearing the victim?
Postscript: the future of criminal justice
Appendix A: Court of Appeal Judgment