Punishment and Social Control

Subject CRIM20006 (2014)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2014.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 2 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2014.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 1.5 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week for 12 weeks
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 120 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

Criminology at Level 1

Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Dr Natalia Hanley: nhanley@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject is designed to introduce students to the major forms and structures of punishment in our society. The subject examines why we punish individuals, how we do so, and how the punishment process can be viewed in a wider social context. The first part of this subject considers the broad justifications for punishment, and experiences of imprisonment with particular emphasis on ‘hidden’ groups such as female and indigenous prisoners. The second part of the subject examines the work of major writers who have provided a theoretical critique of punishment and the role it plays in our society. Finally, we consider punishment outside of the prison setting, including key issues in contemporary community punishment practices. By the end of the subject students should have a good understanding of the correctional system and be familiar with the work of important theorists like Foucault, Cohen and Garland.

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this subject, students will:

  • understand the nature and purposes of legal punishment as administered by the state, and how this has developed over the years.
  • be familiar with and understand the range of correctional issues presented in lectures.
  • be able to discuss the given range of correctional issues in class, present the results of library research, and contribute to class discussions in an informed and confident way.
  • be able to conduct library research into a chosen correctional issue and produce a logically structured, coherent and concise evaluative report setting out prior work on the area or areas in question and suggesting ways in which problems could be addressed in the future.
  • be able to write the essay referred to above in accordance with stated publication style guidelines.

A 1,500 word essay (35%) due mid-semester, and a 2,500 word essay (65%) due during the examination period.

Hurdle Requirement: This subject has a minimum Hurdle Requirement of 75% tutorial attendance. Regular participation in tutorials is required.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Prescribed Texts:

A subject reader will be available online via the subject LMS site.

Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

On completion of this subject, students will have developed the following generic skills:

  • have considerable capacity for independent critical thought and self-directed learning.

  • have significant cognitive, analytical and problem-solving skills.

  • understand complex concepts and express them lucidly in writing and orally.

  • have an ability to plan work and to use time effectively.

  • have advanced awareness of cultural, ethnic and gender diversities and their implications.


This subject is available as Breadth to non-Bachelor of Arts students

Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Criminology
Criminology Major
Socio-legal Studies Major
Related Breadth Track(s): Criminology

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