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Subject details

At the completion of this subject students will be able to:

  1. describe the diversity of punishment and sentencing options that are available in Australia
  2. compare and contrasts the key penological principles of that inform sentencing and punishment, and identify their strengths and limitations
  3. compare and contrast the arguments of key social theorists of punishment and identify their strengths and limitations
  4. distinguish between penological principles and social theories concerned with punishment
  5. apply these principles and theories in the analysis and assessment of programs of sentencing and punishment
    • It's not just about the prison
    • Principles and practices of punishment and sentencing
    • Some social perspectives of punishment
    • Risk registries and community notification
    • Risk: Terrorism and preventive detention
    • Rehabilitation: Drug courts
    • Rehabilitation: Indigenous courts
    • Rehabilitation: Domestic Violence - special pleas and specialist courts
    • Restitution: Youth Justice Conferencing
    • Restitution: From fines to forfeiture
    • Unit overview: The three Rs of the penological triangle
  • Study resources

    • Instructional methods

      • Discussion forum/Discussion Board
      • Online assignment submission
      • Podcasting/Lecture capture
    • Online materials

      • Resources and Links
      • Printable format materials
      • Audio-Video streaming


This is not an introductory subject, it is a third year subject. You should complete other first and second year criminology subjects before starting this subject.

Special requirements

No special requirements

This subject explores the major sociological theories of punishment, and it examines the intended and unintended social and psychological consequences of imprisonment. Variation in the experience of institutions of criminal justice, especially prison, is explored with reference to social relations and classifications of gender, race-ethnicity, age and mental health.

  • Debate (40%)
  • Power Point Presentation (60%)

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

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