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Andrew Ashworth expertly examines the key issues in English sentencing policy and practice including the mechanisms for producing sentencing guidelines. He considers the most high-profile stages in the criminal justice process such as the Court of Appeal's approach to the custody threshold, the framework for the sentencing of young offenders and the abiding problems of previous convictions in sentencing. Taking into account the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 and the Coroners and Justice Act 2009, the book's inter-disciplinary approach places the legislation and guidelines on sentencing in the context of criminological research, statistical trends and theories of punishment. By examining the law in relation to elements of the wider criminal justice system, including the prison and probation services, students gain a rounded perspective on the relevant principles and problems of sentencing and criminal justice.