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This course introduces students to the New Zealand correctional system and demonstrates how it has evolved since 1840. It then examines various aspects of the correctional system in detail.
Since the penitentiary became a mainstream correctional device two centuries ago, there has been a continuous search for something that ‘works’ in terms of reforming criminal offenders. The penitentiary system born in the United States in the early 19th century was soon copied by England and other European countries, and it was this system that New Zealand inherited when it became a Crown Colony in 1840.In its correctional evolution, New Zealand has been primarily influenced by developments in England and the United States. In addition, it has been creative in finding directions of its own. This has resulted in many policy variations, each directed toward the objective of reducing crime. This course weighs the complex factors that have driven New Zealand’s correctional philosophy and practice since 1840. The numerous experiments are evaluated and the difficulties they have encountered are explained. For more than 160 years New Zealand has struggled, as other countries have, to find a formula for dealing with criminals in a humane, workable and effective way. For the most part, the quest has failed. Deterrent, retributive, reformative, custodial, and community programs have all had their day and not one, so far, has proven significantly better than any other in the general treatment of criminality. Irrespective of correctional policies and the great energy that has frequently gone into them, reoffending rates remain quite uniform. Prisons and Corrections examines this international problem and suggests why the reformation of criminals is so difficult.
The course is divided into two parts. In the first, we look at the evolution of the correctional system as a whole, up to the current day. In the second we look in detail at various aspects of corrections and see how they have changed and why.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Biculturally competent and confident
Students will be aware of and understand the nature of biculturalism in Aotearoa New Zealand, and its relevance to their area of study and/or their degree.
45 points of SOCI at 200 level or 30 points of SOCI at 200 level with a B average or better; alternatively students with at least a B average in 60 points in 200 level courses in related subjects may be admitted to one 300 level SOCI course; OR (1) CRJU201; and (2) CRJU202 or LAWS202
Students must attend one activity from each section.
The assessment for this course will be confirmed in the first week of lectures.
Assignment Sheet Cover
Referencing for Sociology
Using EndNote for referencing
Writing guides for Sociology
Domestic fee $1,523.00
International fee $6,375.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 10 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
School of Law.