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Unit information: An International Analysis of Crime, Harm and Justice in 2013/14

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Unit name An International Analysis of Crime, Harm and Justice
Unit code SPOLM1065
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Pantazis
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will address some of the recent developments, as well as key policy process issues, in UK penal policy. It will also examine the impact of criminological theory and research on contemporary policy. In particular, it will focus on the key issues driving current policy (e.g. risk, victimology, community safety). It will do this through an analysis of case studies (e.g. responses to sex offenders and sex offending). Additionally, the unit will examine the influence of American and European perspectives on UK policy, and will also attempt to provide comparative perspectives where appropriate (e.g. Europe, US. Asia). Finally, the unit will consider crimes and other social harms (e.g. corporate and state crimes) which go unpunished.

This unit will aim to:

  • To introduce students to some of the recent developments and policy process issues in UK penal policy
  • To provide students with an understanding of the criminological theory and research which is currently affecting penal policy
  • To ensure students have an appreciation of the key issues driving current policy
  • To offer students the opportunity to assess the influence of US and European perspectives on UK policy
  • To understand the selective nature of the criminalisation process

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of this unit students should have :

  • a knowledge of recent developments in UK penal policy
  • a knowledge of current theories, research and issues which are influencing policy
  • an awareness of the extent to which UK policies are being influenced by policies and practices elsewhere (e.g. US, Europe)
  • an awareness of the extent to which some crimes go unpunished

Teaching Information

The unit will be delivered in 10 sessions of one and half hours through a combination of lectures and seminars.

Assessment Information

3,000 word essay.

Reading and References

  • Cavadino, M & Dignan, J (2001, 3rd ed) The penal system :an introduction. London : Sage
  • Garland, D (2001) The culture of control :crime and social order in contemporary society.Oxford : Oxford University Press
  • Newburn, T (2000 2nd ed) Crime and Criminal Justice Policy. Harlow: Longman
  • Ruggiero, V., South, N., & Taylor, N. (1998) The New European Criminology: crime and social order in Europe. London: Routledge
  • Brownlee, I (1998) Community Punishment: a critical introduction. Harlow: Longman
  • Hudson, B (1996) Understanding justice: an introduction to ideas, perspectives and controversies in modern penal policy, Milton Keynes: Open University Press