This book provides an up-to-date critical introduction to non-custodial sentencing options in England and Wales, and to the issues affecting the use of non-custodial and semi-custodial sentences in both the United Kingdom and elsewhere. Drawing on a wide-ranging body of literature, it guides the reader through the history, politics and philosophy of both non-custodial sentencing and the probation services, whose changing role in implementing the decisions of the court continues to be of crucial importance. Identifies key debates and controversies. Analyses the way in which community-based punishments are implemented, critically examining their impact. Explores ways to improve on existing practices. Ian Brownlee combines a concise statement of the relevant law with accessible and critical synthesis of penological and sociological material and issues. His book will both inform and stimulate further enquiry in students and criminal justice professionals.