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LAW30300 Criminology: Criminal Justice and Penology UCD Assignment Example

Criminology is the scientific study of crime and delinquency. It involves the systematic examination of the nature, extent, causes, effects, and control of criminal behavior. Penology is the branch of criminology that deals with the punishment and rehabilitation of criminals.

In this module, we will explore the field of criminology and discuss its various sub-disciplines. We will also take a closer look at penology and examine its history and purpose. Finally, we will provide an overview of current trends in criminal justice and penology.

Assignment Activity 1: Analyse how penal policy has developed over the past thirty years.

Penal policy has developed over the past thirty years in an attempt to reduce crime rates and keep the public safe. However, this policy has not been successful, and in fact, may have had the opposite effect.

There are a number of reasons for this. Firstly, the increased use of incarceration as a form of punishment has led to prison overcrowding and increased costs for taxpayers. Additionally, many studies have shown that imprisonment does not actually reduce crime rates. In fact, it may even have the opposite effect, as inmates are often exposed to more criminal activity while in prison.

Finally, there is evidence to suggest that correctional policies such as mandatory minimum sentences actually increase crime rates by disrupting social networks and damaging community relationships. As a result, it is clear that the current penal policy is not working and needs to be reformed.

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Assignment Activity 2: Debate key challenges facing prison systems.

There are a number of key challenges facing prison systems today. These include the following:

  1. Prison overcrowding – One of the biggest challenges facing prisons is the problem of overcrowding. This can lead to a number of negative consequences, such as increased violence and gang activity, as well as problems with sanitation and health care.
  2. Rising costs – The cost of incarceration has been rising steadily in recent years, and this is placing a significant burden on taxpayers.
  3. Recidivism – A high recidivism rate is a major problem for prison systems, as it means that many inmates are re-incarcerated after release. This costs taxpayers money and also does not serve to effectively reduce crime.
  4. Lack of rehabilitation – Prison systems often do not provide inmates with the necessary tools and skills needed for successful reintegration into society. This can lead to high rates of recidivism.
  5. Lack of resources – Prisons are often underfunded and lack the necessary resources to effectively meet the needs of inmates. This can lead to a number of problems, such as overcrowding and a lack of rehabilitation services.
  6. Poor conditions – In some cases, prison conditions are very poor and do not meet basic standards of hygiene or safety. This can lead to riots and other security problems.
  7. Ethical concerns – There are a number of ethical concerns surrounding the prison system, such as the use of solitary confinement and the treatment of inmates.

These are just some of the key challenges facing prison systems today. There are no easy solutions to these problems, but it is important that we continue to debate them and find ways to address them.

Assignment Activity 3: Explore different conceptions of punitiveness.

There are a number of different conceptions of punitiveness, each of which has its own set of implications for criminal justice policy.

  1. Retributivism is the most common conception of punitiveness and holds that criminals should be punished in order to repay them for their crimes. This theory is based on the idea of “just deserts”, meaning that criminals deserve to be punished because of the harm they have caused.
  2. Utilitarianism is another common conception of punitiveness and holds that the primary goal of punishment should be to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number of people. This theory focuses on the utilitarian principle of “maximizing pleasure and minimizing the pain”.
  3. Rehabilitation is a less common conception of punitiveness that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders. This approach believes that criminals can be reformed and that they are not inherently bad people.
  4. Deterrence is a punitive approach that aims to reduce crime rates by using punishment as a deterrent. This theory holds that criminals will be less likely to commit crimes if they know that they will be punished.
  5. Incapacitation is a punitive approach that aims to reduce crime rates by incapacitating criminals. This theory holds that criminals should be locked up in order to prevent them from committing further crimes.

All of these conceptions of punitiveness have their own strengths and weaknesses. It is important that we debate them and come to a consensus on the best way to approach punishment.

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