Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedCaulfield Second semester 2012 (Day)
Clayton Second semester 2012 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Bree Carlton


Previously coded CRI3020


Students read, analyse and discuss the nature and history of punishment and the institution of the prison. The relationship between punishment, social control and the differential impact of punishment on diverse communities are explored. Contemporary and comparative issues examined include the impact of new technologies, neo-liberalism, globalisation on the prison as a prevailing institution of punishment. In exploring the origins and development of the prison in historical and contemporary contexts different modes of punishment are explored such as the 'spectacular' punishments of the gallows, corporal and capital punishment, home and administrative detention and community corrections.


On successful completion of this unit students will have:

  1. A critical awareness of the history of punishment in Australia, and international and contemporary trends in punishment;
  2. An understanding of the various theories and types of punishment, the role of punishment and specifically the prison in society;
  3. The skills to critically analyse debates about the role and nature of punishment throughout history in contemporary times;
  4. An ability to present a fluid and logical argument about the role of punishment in society;
  5. The ability to formulate ideas, based on evidence and theory, about the role and nature of punishment in different societies, countries and over time;
  6. An understanding of the factors influencing the historical and contemporary development of the prison as a principal institution of punishment;
  7. An ability to explain and critique the evolution and impacts of the prison as a tool of social control;
  8. An ability to critique the prison's effectiveness as a response to crime.

In addition to the above, students taking this unit at level 3 will have:
  1. A demonstrated advanced theoretical appreciation and understanding of the changing role and nature of institutional forms of punishment in historical and contemporary contexts;
  2. Demonstrated advanced skills to critically analyse theories and debates about the role and nature of punishment in society.


Written work: (50%)
Exam: (40%)
Tutorial participation and presentation: 10%

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Bree Carlton

Contact hours

One 1-hour lecture and one 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study

Human rights theory
Behavioural studies


CJC1001, CJC1002, or ATS1281, ATS1282

These subjects are prerequisites only if students wish to undertake a Criminal Justice and Criminology major. The subject can be taken as an elective without prerequisites.