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Research and Criminal Justice Governance (CRIM90011)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 12.5On Campus (Parkville)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeCRIM90011
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

What does it mean for a criminal justice intervention to be effective? Why is it important to know? For whom? How does government emphasis on the impact of criminal justice programs affect the design and funding of programs? And what does this focus on effectiveness mean for research priorities and methods? This subject considers questions such as these in exploring how, why, and for whom criminal justice ‘evidence’ or ‘knowledge’ is produced. In this subject you will be asked to identify a particular criminal justice program or intervention (we will look at a range of examples), and to design an approach to discover whether or not it ‘works’ – thinking about how, why and for whom.

The subject is divided into three broad areas. First we will examine what ‘criminal justice governance’ actually is, what it means for criminal justice policy and practice, and the implications for ‘evidence’ about programs and interventions. In the second section we will explore different approaches to measuring effectiveness and gathering knowledge about criminal justice practices and programs. The last part will focus on different settings (e.g. prisons, policing) and subjects of criminal justice research (e.g. justice-involved young people), and the impact that different kinds of knowledge might have. Throughout, we will examine professional and political issues about the role and application of research in criminal justice, as well as ethical issues about engaging in research with vulnerable and offending populations.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have obtained knowledge of a range of evaluative assessments regarding the effectiveness of criminological interventions;
  • have developed a framework for assessing the adequacy of criminological evaluations in terms of the questions being asked, the designed being employed, and the measures used in the evaluation.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should:

  • have highly developed cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills;
  • have an advanced understanding of complex concepts and the ability to express them lucidly in writing and orally;
  • have sophisticated awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications;
  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively.

Last updated: 3 April 2019