SOCI358-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020

Prisons and Corrections

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 13 July 2020
End Date: Sunday, 8 November 2020
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 24 July 2020
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 25 September 2020


This course looks at the evolution of corrections internationally and in New Zealand, and examines a number of contemporary correctional issues.

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.

Learning Outcomes

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.


Any 30 points at 200 level from ANTH or
SOCI, or
any 60 points at 200 level from the Schedule V of the BA.

Course Coordinator

Amir Bastani


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Random quizzes 5%
Essay One 12 Aug 2020 20%
Esssay Two 07 Oct 2020 25%
Final Examination 50%

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,553.00

International fee $6,750.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.

For further information see Language, Social and Political Sciences.

All SOCI358 Occurrences

  • SOCI358-20S2 (C) Semester Two 2020