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Punishment and Detention: New Challenges (CRIM40005)

HonoursPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelHonours
Subject codeCRIM40005
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject focuses on the idea that since the 1970s there has been a rise in punitiveness and a change in the character and purposes of involuntary detention in western countries. The subject asks students to identify and understand the different domains in which punitive tendencies might be found, including in areas such as immigration that traditionally have lain outside criminology’s interests. It will introduce students to key debates within contemporary criminology concerning the extent, substance and reasons for changes in punitiveness and the changing face of detention practices. The subject will explore through a series of case studies the experiences of groups upon whom the weight of such measures of have fallen – particularly, women, indigenous minorities and ‘illegal’ migrants. It will also consider some of the key penal mechanisms – such as parole release – that have become part of an increasingly fractious politics of punishment and detention. On completion of the subject students should have an understanding of both the data and explanatory and theoretical arguments concerning what has been seen as a major defining feature of most western nations' recent history: the inexorable rise of punitive attitudes and spread of new forms of involuntary detention.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • understand the various ways in which forms of punitiveness and strategies of involuntary detention have changed in western nations since the 1970s;
  • be able to identify punitive and non-punitive states and novel detention practices;
  • be able to explain the main arguments relating to punitive intent across a range of justice sectors, from the courts to prisons and new penal domains, such as anti-immigrant or anti-terrorist initiatives.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should:

  • develop persuasive arguments on a given topic;
  • apply research skills and critical methods to a field of inquiry;
  • be able to communicate oral and written arguments and ideas effectively;
  • develop cross-cultural understanding.

Last updated: 11 November 2018