Carceral Technologies (L4111B)

30 credits, Level 6

Spring 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. You will develop a critical understanding of the contexts, critical arguments and theories behind processing offenders outwith the prison.

Topics focused on real world practice will be 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.

Discussions will be effected, grounded in philosophical conversation around the rationales and impacts of punishing through these means: Rehabilitation, Reduced Risk, Reparations and Retribution. Themes of the new punitiveness and breaking out of prison (thinking) and Emotional Versus Intelligent Justice, will run through the module.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 33 hours of contact time and about 267 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2023/24. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to COVID-19, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: