Penal Populism and Public Opinion: Lessons from five countries by Julian V. Roberts, Loretta J. Stalans, David Indemaur, and Mike Hough

by
May 2003, no. 251
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Penal Populism and Public Opinion: Lessons from five countries by Julian V. Roberts, Loretta J. Stalans, David Indemaur, and Mike Hough

Oxford University Press, 244 pp, $125 hb

Penal Populism and Public Opinion: Lessons from five countries by Julian V. Roberts, Loretta J. Stalans, David Indemaur, and Mike Hough

by
May 2003, no. 251

Recently, New South Wales had its fifth election since 1988 in which shrill law and order promises – tougher sentencing, more police, and the like – constituted the most prominent feature of the major parties’ campaigns. During those fifteen years, NSW witnessed its biggest prison-building programme in more than a century and a rise of more than fifty per cent in its prison population. An obvious lesson is that prison-building programmes and rising criminal justice expenditures do not reduce crime or enhance feelings of public safety and confidence in legal institutions, and that those who argue otherwise are chasing phantoms. Yet the terms of political discourse around law and order seem to be impervious to the facts. What would commonly be taken as incontrovertible evidence of the failure or limits of a policy in other areas yields more of the same in relation to crime control, such is the treadmill of penal populism.

Russell Hogg reviews 'Penal Populism and Public Opinion: Lessons from five countries' by Julian V. Roberts, Loretta J. Stalans, David Indemaur, and Mike Hough

Penal Populism and Public Opinion: Lessons from five countries

by Julian V. Roberts, Loretta J. Stalans, David Indemaur, and Mike Hough

Oxford University Press, 244 pp, $125 hb

Buy this book

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