This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book offers an overview of the existing Chinese and Western literature on the topic of deprivation of liberty in China. It examines the various problematic issues and the challenges concerning recent reforms to China's infamous system of re-education through labour (RETL). The book provides an overview of the various facilities that deprive people of their liberty and the reforms that have been developed to modernise the system. Joshua Rosenzweig analyses the system of residential surveillance. The book also analyses respectively key Chinese and Western issues and debates in the area and demonstrate that these two have unfolded in parallel, as two separate discourses and approaches. It concludes by advocating that contemporary scholarship should look critically behind cosmetic changes and understand the deeper forces that drive reforms in China's contemporary justice system.