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You will consider the role of imprisonment as a form of punishment, and hear from ex-prisoners about their experience of being incarcerated. Through case studies, you will explore the challenges faced by the current prison system. You will identify alternative methods of punishment and rehabilitation, and learn about the debates that exist within the criminal justice system.
Week 1: Justice as Punishment
Week 2: Justice as an agent for reform
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Explore the role of imprisonment as a mechanism of punishment, its legitimacy and ethical standpoint and identify its aims.
- Discuss how prisoners should be treated and what ethical considerations should be considered in deciding physical conditions of custody.
- Identify issues within the prison system, including overcrowding, drug misuse and safety.
- Compare different prison systems and evaluate which might be most effective and the most ethically sound.
- Explain the concept of rehabilitation in both changing the individual and its wider role of crime reduction.
- Explore alternative punishments to imprisonment, their effectiveness and discuss if these are ethically more acceptable than custody.
- Reflect on how custody and alternative forms of punishment are utilised with the overall aim of reducing crime.