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Incarceration: Are Prisons a Suitable Punishment?


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Incarceration: Are Prisons a Suitable Punishment? – Explore life inside UK prisons. Learn whether this type of punishment reduces crime and if rehabilitation can prevent reoffending.

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Explore the ethics of imprisonment and identify prison alternatives

England and Wales have the highest incarceration rate in Western Europe. Almost a quarter of these prisoners are held in overcrowded prisons. On this course, you will take a look inside the prisons of England and Wales.

You will consider the role of imprisonment as a form of punishment, and hear from ex-prisoners about their experience of being incarcerated. Through case studies, you will explore the challenges faced by the current prison system. You will identify alternative methods of punishment and rehabilitation, and learn about the debates that exist within the criminal justice system.

What topics will you cover?

  • Identify the aims of imprisonment as punishment and recognise the justifications and ethical implications of subjecting individuals to custody.
  • Explore prison conditions and regimes, considered in relation to punishment being solely ‘loss of liberty’.
  • Identify issues facing prisons, including safety and security, overcrowding and drug misuse.
  • Compare jurisdictions with different aims and objectives.
  • Explore the criminal justice system: what sanctions are available and where punish and imprisonment fits.
  • Examine rehabilitation as a key to reducing reconviction rates and crime by changing the individual and/or providing skills ready for release.
  • Explore alternatives to custody for less serious crimes: fines, community orders and suspended sentences.
  • Assess the effectiveness of such sanctions in comparison with custody.
  • Discuss the extent to which rehabilitation and resettlement are key to reducing reoffending.

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone looking to investigate whether prisons are a suitable punishment for offenders.

The course will be useful for professionals such as social workers, probation officers, and anyone that supports prisoners.

This course is also useful for learners interested in studying criminology or related disciplines at undergraduate or postgraduate level.

Incarceration: Are Prisons a Suitable Punishment?


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