As Hagan and Petersen observe, "Linkages between social inequality and crime have been subjects of speculation as well as some dispute since the early days of European . . . and American Criminology" (1995: 1). Such "speculation" and "dispute" persist, not only in criminology but also in adjacent academic fields. In part, this is because the problems of crime (commission and victimization) and of inequality are real-world problems attracting sustained attention from politicians and policy makers, commentators and media, interest groups across a wide spectrum (criminal justice agencies, victim support groups, prison reform advocacy organizations) and, of course, the general public.