Changes or, indeed, transformations in penal policy and practice have been a topic of considerable controversy and debate within the international historiography of crime and criminal justice over the last 30 years. In particular, the decline in the resort to corporal and capital punishment and the rise of the prison as the primary means of punishment, a process which came to fruition in many areas in the nineteenth century, has been at the centre of debate among criminal justice historians. e causes for such developments were rooted in a variety of material, political and cultural changes – interpretations of which have, moreover, ranged from understanding change as the expression of an emerging humanitarian ethic, the consequence of a wider civilising process or a result of the rise of the disciplinary society.2