Sociology and Criminology

Carceral Technologies

Module code: L4111B
Level 6
30 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Coursework

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.

Module learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the relevance of a variety of theories of ‘Control Societies’, as defined in the module, and their place in contemporary criminological debates
  • Critically evaluate evidence from empirical studies on a variety of ‘Carceral Technologies’
  • Apply theories covered in this module to empirical examples gathered from your own independent research
  • Further develop skills of academic writing and research by producing a 6000 word essay.