Traditionally, criminal justice and penal policy have not been much studied by social policy scholars; this is now changing markedly. The main institutions of our ‘modern’ system of criminal justice came into being during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A profound shift in emphasis away from welfare and rehabilitation occurred in the last three decades of the twentieth century. The dominant features of contemporary criminal justice have been punitiveness, politicization and populism. The late twentieth century has seen a remarkable growth in the use of imprisonment and other forms of penal surveillance
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