Examining the recent developments in penal policy, and asks whether they will make for more "justice", this book draws on international evidence. The author asks whether making the punishment fit the crime can lessen the excessive penalization of the poor, the mentally disordered and racial minorities. Realist and reductionist agendas are analyzed, but the real problem is society's addiction to punishment itself, maintained by the dominance of legal reasoning and the declining influence of social work and psychiatric perspectives in criminal justice decision-making. The book looks at the ideological nature of legal theory and its link with empirical issues of penal practice. Barbara Hudson has also written "Justice Through Punishment".