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Course Overview

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. 

 

  • Explore the role of justice in both punishing and rehabilitating those who break the law. 
  • why we punish and the ethical implications of different forms of punishment. 
  • explore the prison environment itself and learn how current conditions compare to the aims and intentions of custody. 
  • Justice as an agent for reform 

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.

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to… 
  • Explore the role of imprisonment as a mechanism of punishment, its legitimacy and ethical standpoint and identify its aims. 
  • Discuss how prisoners should be treated and what ethical considerations should be considered in deciding physical conditions of custody. 
  • Identify issues within the prison system, including overcrowding, drug misuse and safety. 
  • Compare different prison systems and evaluate which might be most effective and the most ethically sound. 
  • Explain the concept of rehabilitation in both changing the individual and its wider role of crime reduction. 
  • Explore alternative punishments to imprisonment, their effectiveness and discuss if these are ethically more acceptable than custody. 
  • Reflect on how custody and alternative forms of punishment are utilised with the overall aim of reducing crime. 
  • Ozone certificate

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