Shaw deals with key events, issues and developments and the book will be invaluable to anyone wishing to cut through the mass of fine detail and data which can be found in other works in favour of a direct, authoritative and well-informed short history. Novel, original and highly accessible, this book makes it altogether easier to understand penal affairs. Touching on the key events which continue to shape penal policy in England and Wales, it looks at 'seismic shifts' since 1980, points to 'a new democratic mood' and anticipates how things might shape up in coming decades. A remarkable account which goes to the heart of penal policy in England and Wales. Refreshing and insightful, this work will prove to be invaluable to practitioners, students, researchers and those wishing to understand 'the new democratic mood', its relationship to crime and punishment and where it is leading.