How does the fact that we live in information societies reflect on the nature of penal discourse and practice? Applying media and communication studies to sentencing and penal culture, Kate Franko Aas offers a lucid and innovative account of how punishment is adjusting to a new cultural climate marked by growing demands for information processing, transparency and accountability.

This significant book explores a number of recent penal developments, such as risk assessment instruments, sentencing guidelines and computerized sentencing information systems, and argues that they are instruments of justice with so-called Macintosh traits, offering pre-programmed answers and solutions.

Franko Aas touches upon issues of decision-making at-a-distance, the exercise of discretion, databases, disembodiment and the changing nature of subjectivity. She explores information technology as a cultural environment with profound implications for the nature of penal knowledge, governance and identity constitution.

Sentencing in the Age of Information is essential reading for scholars and students interested in sentencing, penal culture, criminology, sociology of law and media and communication studies.

Joint winner of the 2006 Hart/Socio-Legal Studies Association Book Prize.

chapter |8 pages


chapter 1|28 pages


Making sentencing transparent

chapter 2|26 pages

How Information Lost its Body

Technologies and cultural change

chapter 3|44 pages

Computerised Justice as a Trend

Informating the system

chapter 4|22 pages

The End of ‘Delinquent With a Soul’

The new objectivity

chapter 5|22 pages


New technologies, new identities

chapter 6|8 pages

From Faust to Macintosh

The story of Faust