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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.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects


Recommended background knowledge

Criminology at Undergraduate level.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home



  • A Policy brief of 2000 words (40%) due mid-semester.
  • An Essay of 3000 words (60%) due in the Semester 2 examination period.
  • Hurdle Requirement: As this is an Intensively-taught subject, Lecture/Seminar attendance is compulsory on all 4 days. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject. Regular participation in class is required.
  • Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10 marks per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Dates & times

  • July
    Principal coordinatorMark Brown
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hours32 contact hours: This subject will be delivered intensively from 9:00am - 5:00pm, with seminars over four consecutive days.
    Total time commitment170 hours
    Teaching period 9 July 2019 to 12 July 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 July 2019
    Census date 9 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail 4 October 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    July contact information

Time commitment details

Total of 170 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Readings will be provided online through the subject's LMS site prior to the commencement of the subject.

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 3 April 2019