chapter  13
14 Pages

The Relationship Between the Community and the Prison

ByJenny Roberts

The danger of this position is that criminal justice policy in this country is alarmingly vulnerable to being driven by public opinion. This risk is exacerbated by some characteristics of the system, such as the fragmentation of responsibility for the penal system, and the absence of comprehensive training for those who play key roles in criminal justice administration. Lawyers for example, some of whom become judges-are trained in the law, but not in the consequences of its application; the magistracy are lay people; and civil servants play a dominant role in penal administration. In other European countries where the penal system is more integrated, public opinion is often more informed and moulded by policy makers who are receptive to the findings of research.