Prisons and punishment in Europe

Authored by: Sonja Snacken , Aline Bauwens , Dirk van Zyl Smit , Hanne Tournel , Rudy Machiels

The Routledge Handbook of European Criminology

Print publication date:  July  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415685849
eBook ISBN: 9780203083505
Adobe ISBN: 9781136185496


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The topics of ‘punishment’ and ‘prisons’ have filled libraries for years. An overview of European research on these issues would require at least two books (see e.g. Daems et al. 2013, on ‘European penology’). This chapter is therefore necessarily selective and based on the authors’ personal interests, expertise and the languages they know (Dutch, French, English, German). In line with this book’s general aim, we will focus on comparative or specifically European approaches. Following Nelken’s (2007) argument concerning comparative research, we will look at both similarities and differences within European penological research, linked to its history, and to the diversity of penal policies. This will then be further developed with regard to prison research.

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