Sociology

Understanding the Criminal Justice System

Module code: L3123
Level 4
15 credits in spring teaching
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework, Unseen examination

This module provides an introduction to the criminal justice system focusing on key debates around social control and the historic development of institutions. This involves assessing the development of key components of the justice system including:

  • prisons
  • the police
  • probation
  • the courts
  • community justice.

You will also critically examine contemporary debates including race and crime, gender, power and punishment, issues of overpolicing and criminalisation, youth justice and crime prevention. The module also aims to situate the British justice system within an international context to allow for a comparative understanding.

Module learning outcomes

  • Describe the key aspects of the criminal justice system and show knowledge of their historical development.
  • Know and understand the functions of the criminal justice system.
  • Evaluate contemporary debates and concerns surrounding the criminal justice system.
  • Compare the British criminal justice systems with international alternatives and evaluate their differences.