Crime and Punishment around the World

by Graeme R. Newman, General Editor


Fewer than 20 percent of countries have prohibited corporal punishment, while 35 percent retain the death penalty. Prison is still a universal punishment, regardless of culture or legal system. But what are the best ways to deter crime, while still recognizing civil rights? What lessons are there in the ways in which justice is administered—or abused—around the world?

Print Flyer
Cover image for Crime and Punishment around the World

October 2010


Pages 1586
Volumes 4
Size 8 1/2x11
Topics Current Events and Issues/Law and Crime

This comprehensive, detailed account explores crime and punishment throughout the world through the eyes of leading experts, local authors and scholars, and government officials.

It is a subject as old as civil society, yet one that still fuels debate. Now the many and varied aspects of that subject are brought together in the four-volume Crime and Punishment around the World. This unprecedented work provides descriptions of crimes—and the justice systems that define and punish them—in more than 200 nations, principalities, and dependencies.

Each chapter examines the historical, political, and cultural background, as well as the basic organization of the subject state's legal and criminal justice system. It also reports on the types and levels of crime, the processes leading to the finding of guilt, the rights of the accused, alternatives to going to trial, how suspects are prosecuted for their crimes, and the techniques and conditions of typical punishments employed. Comprising a study that is at once extraordinarily comprehensive and minutely detailed, the essays collected here showcase the variety and the universality of crime and punishment the world over.


  • Four volumes covering Africa, the Americas, Asia/Pacific, and Europe
  • More than 200 essays written by academics, government officials, and independent experts
  • Four world maps and sixteen regional maps depicting distribution of murder rates, prison, corporal punishment, and death penalty rates
  • A "Learn More" section in each chapter that lists 4–6 recommended readings
  • Quick reference information at the start of each entry providing at a glance a country's type of legal system, use or prohibition of capital and corporal punishment, and levels of serious crimes such as murder and human trafficking


  • Illustrates both the variety and the universality of crime and punishment across Africa, the Americas, the Asia/Pacific region, and Europe
  • Offers a single, go-to resource for crime and punishment information for anywhere in the world
  • Provides entries for each country or place that are much more detailed than standard encyclopedia entries
  • Includes even little-known countries and regions
Author Info

Graeme R. Newman is distinguished teaching professor at the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany, State University of New York, Albany, NY. He has written and researched widely on comparative crime, justice, and punishment and has written, with Pietro Marongiu, a new translation of Beccaria's classic On Crimes and Punishments.



"Crime and Punishment Around the World assembles valuable facts and perspectives about an important topic in a useful and easy-to-use reference. The editors and contributors are to be congratulated for creating a unique single source that gathers together and provides this information. The entries are substantial enough to stand on their own as well as offer a basis for country comparisons. Students studying the current state of international crime and punishment as well as those looking for information on specific countries will find this set of value. It also offers specific information that can be used to supplement an overall country or area study. This set will be a valuable addition for most undergraduate and community college libraries supporting criminal justice and related programs."Against the Grain

"A handy compilation of country-specific information. . . . Academic, law, and special libraries with comprehensive criminal-justice collections may want to purchase this set."Booklist

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