BASS Social Anthropology and Criminology

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
From Imprisonment to Rehabilitation

Unit code CRIM30662
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by School of Social Sciences
Available as a free choice unit? No


Lifecourse studies clearly show that most people who become involved in offending desist, and while there are a number of influential theories of this process, it is likely to be both variable and multi-faceted in relation to the intersections of offending and person profile. To what extent does criminal justice practice take account of this criminological literature, and in what ways can it be seen to help - or hinder - those processes? This course surveys the contemporary landscape of criminal justice practice insofar as it supports desistance and reintegration.

Indicative content: (1) Background & history; (2) Theories of desistance; (3) Desistance in practice; journeys out of offending; (4) Diversity & desistance 2; (5) Young adults, maturity & desistance; (6) Managing potentially dangerous offenders; (7) Working with DV perpetrators in the community; (8) Womens’ desistance & community sentencing; (9) Mental health, vulnerability & desistance; (10) Desistance and sexual offending.


(1) To introduce students to the concept of desistance and the management of ‘risky’ populations; (2) To provide students with an overview of the scope and delivery of ‘offender management’ in prisons and the community in England and Wales; (3) To provide students with an opportunity to examine the management, control and treatment of people processed through the criminal justice system.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to: (1) demonstrate an understanding of the concept of desistance; (2) demonstrate an understanding of the management of ‘risky populations’; (3) locate current sentencing policy and practice within the political climate of evidence based practice; (4) identify and understand the challenges of diversity in the treatment of people being managed by the criminal justice system; (5) critically evaluate current relevant legislative policy.

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching in academic year 21/22 will be flexible and allow us to adapt to changing conditions, however, the common intention across units is to provide a blended offer of the best in online and on-campus teaching that includes: (1) a subject hour used for a range of exercises and activities; (2) high quality learning materials; (3) a tutorial; (4) 1:1 support via a subject-specific contact hour.

Employability skills

(i) analyse, critique and (re-)formulate a problem or issue; (ii) rapidly and thoroughly review/rate argument and evidence from targeted bibliographic searches; (iii) plan, structure and present arguments in a variety of written formats and to a strict word limit, (iv) express ideas verbally and organise work effectively in small teams for a variety of written and oral tasks; (v) obtain, manipulate and (re-)present different forms of data; (vi) manage time effectively; (vii) reflect on and improve performance through feedback.

Assessment methods

This unit is summatively assessed by a 3500 word essay worth 100% of the overall mark.

Feedback methods

Formative feedback (both individual and collective) will be given on (1) tasks and contribution in class, (2) developing essay plans. Detailed summative feedback will be given on the submitted essay via Blackboard (Grademark).

Recommended reading

Robinson, G. and McNeill F. (2017) ‘Punishment in the community: evolution, expansion, and moderation’ in Liebling, A., Maruna, S. and McAra, L. (eds) Oxford Handbook of Criminology, 6th edition. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 13
Independent study hours
Independent study 40

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Caroline Miles Unit coordinator
Emily Turner Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Across their course units each semester, full-time students are expected to devote a ‘working week’ of 35-40 hours to study. Accordingly each course unit demands 12-13 hours of study per week consisting of (i) timetabled teacher-led hours, (ii) preparation, required and further reading.

Restricted to: LLB (Law with Criminology), BA (Criminology) and BA Social Sciences (BASS).

Pre-requisites: LAWS20412 Explaining Crime & Deviance unless agreed with the prgramme director

This course is available to incoming study abroad students.

See Law School timetable

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