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The growth of imprisonment in both the UK and the US, as crime rates are falling, has raised important questions about the role and function of imprisonment in contemporary society. In this new edition of Doing Time, Roger Matthews examines these developments from a historical and sociological perspective and aims to develop an understanding of recent developments in penal policy through a critical review of the theoretical explanations and an examination of the empirical evidence. The book examines not only the changes in the prison population but also looks specifically at the changing composition of the prison population through an examination of youth justice, race and imprisonment and the use of custody for women. In doing so, Matthews aims to acquaint the reader with the key issues associated with imprisonment and penal policy, and at the same time develop a critical and informed perspective on these issues. This thoroughly revised and updated edition will be an invaluable text for all those studying punishment, prisons and penality.