Criminal Justice in Modern Britain:Development, Issues and Politics - SO536

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2017-18 2018-19
Canterbury Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
5 30 (15) DR MC Duggan


SO305 Introduction to Criminology or SO333 Crime Culture and Control





This module examines key policy issues and controversies relating to the criminal justice system. The general nature and development of the modern criminal justice system of police, courts, prisons and alternatives will be explored, together with the relation between the criminal justice system and other agencies such as welfare, the private sector and informal structures of control. Topical problems such as police organisation and efficiency, the impact of the (party) politicisation of crime and criminal justice issues, prison overcrowding, the problems facing different categories of victims in offences such as child abuse, rape etc. International justice issues will be considered such as the American prison experiment and the death penalty.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

one-hour lecture and one-hour seminar per week


Available 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18

Method of assessment

50% coursework and 50% written examination (summer term)

Preliminary reading

Cavadino M & Dignan J (3rd edn. 2002) The Penal System: An Introduction. London: Sage
Davis M et al (3rd edn. 2005) Criminal Justice. Harlow: Pearson Longman
Muncie J et al (2001) Youth Justice: Critical Readings. London: Sage
Newburn T (2nd edn. 2003) Crime and Criminal Justice Policy. London: Longman
Newburn T, ed (2003) Handbook of Policing. Cullompton: Willan

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The aim of this module is to provide students with a critical knowledge and understanding of the nature of the criminal justice system. Students completing the module will be able to:
show a knowledge of the structure and history of the main institutions of the CJS.
to identify and interpret information on patterns of crime and punishment.
to follow and critically assess debates and controversies surrounding the cjs and how these relate to broader social policy strategies.
to critically assess CJS policies in terms of their impact upon issues concerning race, gender and class.
show a development in their communication skills through essay writing and oral seminar contributions.

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