CULT 2011 Prisons, Punishment and Criminal Justice

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102036

Coordinator Selda Dagistanli Opens in new window

Description The demise of corporal punishment and the regular use of imprisonment are defining features of control in modern states. This subject provides an historical and sociological examination of the models, practices and justifications for punishment and incarceration. It begins with an overview of early liberal notions of the social contract, the modern movement away from corporal punishment towards incarceration, and criminology's emphasis on treatment, reform and rehabilitation. Following from this, the subject explores the development of probation and parole systems, decarceration, community corrections, mass imprisonment, and the contemporary control of risk and 'dangerous' populations. These themes are considered through the role of intersecting structural factors such as age, gender, sexuality, social class, racial/ethnic identity and disability, and the impact of imprisonment and corrections on different individuals and groups.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Criminology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 2 subject

Equivalent Subjects CULT 2010 - Prisons and Punishment

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate in written form the relationship between punishment and society, the history of the prison and its relationship to modernism;
  2. Critically analyse how social practices of punishment affect certain sectors of the population, including highly marginalised groups;
  3. Describe the impact of contemporary issues in public policy and penality, including community-based measures, private prisons, the dispersal of punishment, restorative and therapeutic justice and vengeance;
  4. Critically assess the contributions of philosophical approaches to contemporary debates about punishment goals and practices.

Subject Content

Punishment and criminal justice
Philosophical justifications for punishment
The rise of the prison
Juvenile detention and punishment of youth
Class, race, disadvantage and imprisonment
Gender and punishment
Non-custodial penalties and regulatory justice
Penal reform, activism and prison politics
Prison policies and correctional programmes
Decarceration and recarceration
Privatisation of prisons and corrections
Risk, fear and ?edangerousness?f


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Quizzes 30 minutes 20 N Individual
Reflection 1,200 words 35 N Individual
Essay 1,500 words 45 N Individual

Structures that include subject