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This subject is designed to introduce students to the major forms and structures of punishment in our society. The subject examines why we punish individuals, how we do so, and how the punishment process can be viewed in a wider social context. The first part of this subject considers the broad justifications for punishment, and experiences of imprisonment with particular emphasis on hidden groups such as female and indigenous prisoners. We consider the process of punishment, from sentencing to imprisonment and punishment in the community. The second part of the subject examines the work of major writers who have provided a theoretical critique of punishment and the role it plays in our society. By the end of the subject students should have a good understanding of the correctional system and be familiar with the work of important theorists like Foucault, Cohen and Garland.
Intended learning outcomes
On completion of this subject students should:
- Understand and analyse theoretical accounts of the nature and purposes of legal punishment as administered by the state, and how this has developed over the years.
- Understand and reflect upon key issues in the practice of punishment
- Describe and analyse the relationship between the institutions and practices of criminal justice and wider social control
- Communicate effectively in oral and written formats.
Last updated: 3 October 2023