Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol 35 no. 10. 24 May 1972
The Punitive Obsession is a book written by a prison reformer who has come to see the hopelessness of prison reform. It is a massively, but eratically, documented history of the British prison system which seeks to show that ideas for increasing its effectiveness "have revolved rather than progressed." And a history written with this thesis in mind seems a good way to tackle a critique of the prison system that goes further than mere suggestions for reform.