SOCI358-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022

Prisons and Corrections

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 18 July 2022
End Date: Sunday, 13 November 2022
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 31 July 2022
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 2 October 2022


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 180 years New Zealand has struggled, as have other countries, 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, as well as discussing various contemporary issues and challenges faced by the correctional system.

Learning Outcomes

  • By the end of this course students will:
  •        Have in-depth knowledge of the history and development of the New Zealand correctional system.
  •        Understand aspects of the management of corrections.
  •        Understand and be able to think critically about present day issues and challenges in the New Zealand correctional system.
  •        Increased competency in the areas of critical thinking, comprehension, and academic writing skills specific to the study of criminal justice.
    • University Graduate Attributes

      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.


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

Timetable 2022

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 15:00 - 17:00 A2 Lecture Theatre
18 Jul - 28 Aug
12 Sep - 23 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 11:00 - 13:00 C3 Lecture Theatre
18 Jul - 28 Aug
12 Sep - 23 Oct

Course Coordinator

Marozane Spamers


Weekly online Quiz (10%)
Essay one - 2000 words (20%)
Essay two - 2500 words (25%)
Final examination - 3 hours (45%)

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,597.00

International fee $7,200.00

* 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

  • SOCI358-22S2 (C) Semester Two 2022