Alternatives to Incarceration (L4111A)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

The penal imagination is dominated by the prison, yet it is but the tip of the criminal justice iceberg. This module traverses the keel.

In this module, you develop a critical understanding of the contexts, critical arguments and theories behind processing offenders outwith the prison.

You focus on real world practice, covering topics that are drawn from such interrelated areas of:

  • offender supervision
  • community payback
  • managing sex offenders
  • managing drug offenders
  • boot camps
  • electronic tagging
  • problem solving justice
  • desistance
  • compliance
  • architectural and performative regimes.

You engage in discussions that are grounded in philosophical conversation around the rationales and impacts of punishing through these means:

  • rehabilitation?
  • reduced risk?
  • reparations?
  • retribution?

Themes of the new punitiveness and breaking out of prison (thinking), emotional versus intelligent justice, will run through the module.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 300 hours of work. This breaks down into 30 hours of contact time and 270 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.