Despite several decades of changing government policy to improve the 'criminal justice system', involving vast expenditure and the sustained efforts of practitioners in the public, private and voluntary sectors, there is a sense of poor returns and going round in circles. The formation of a coalition government, in May 2010 seemed to augur a genuine turning point, but more recent events have begun to follow the familiar pattern - more legislation, more reorganisation, more punishment. Where Next for Criminal Justice? reviews, first, policy shifts during the last thirty years, then recent developments in sentencing, policing, community sentences, prisons and governance of criminal justice, and the lessons that can be learnt from them; and offers a principled framework for the future development of policy, legislation and practice. It argues, with examples, for an approach to criminal justice which is focused first on people and their capacities, situations and relationships, on treating them with humanity and respect, and only then on reforming institutions, structures and systems. The inherent divisiveness in responses to crime has been exacerbated by its use for political advantage. The authors argue for the different perspectives to be acknowledged and make suggestions, based on ideas of procedural justice and legitimacy, for ways in which reconciliation might more often be achieved.