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NCJ Number: 136201 Find in a Library
Title: Crime, Policing, and Punishment in England, 1550-1850 (From Criminology: A Reader's Guide, P 23-64, 1991, Jane Gladstone, Richard Ericson, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-136200)
Author(s): J M Beattie
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 42
Sponsoring Agency: University of Toronto
Toronto, Canada
Sale Source: University of Toronto
Centre of Criminology
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: Canada
Annotation: This essay reviews criminological research over the past 2 decades that pertains to crime and the criminal justice system in the "early modern age" in English history, i.e., from the end of the Middle Ages to the onset of the modern industrial world (1550-1850).
Abstract: The major thrust of the studies of this period has been to place crime, policing, and punishment in institutional contexts; they are examined in relation to social, economic, political, and cultural (ideological) structures. This focus has led historians beyond sources internal to the criminal justice system (e.g., court records) to literary sources, parliamentary debates, and the popular media. Such research has enhanced understanding of the variable nature and social function of criminal law and justice, particularly its function as an ideological system. The research has also addressed how crime and criminals were a product of institutional decisionmaking processes, notably the decision to prosecute, which varied across jurisdictions according to local institutional arrangements, resources, and contexts. Changes in the administration of criminal justice have been well documented with attention to local variations, resistances, and unevenness in acceptance by time and place. The research indicates that in the late 18th century there was not a sharp break of old-regime institutions under the impact of the Industrial Revolution and the rationalism of the Enlightenment. Rather, changes in crime, policing, and punishment were long-term, continuous, and piecemeal. 312-item reading list
Main Term(s): History of criminal justice
Index Term(s): Corrections policies; England; Police policies and procedures
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