prison and punishment
Essay (1,800 words exact)
topics (Choose ONE):
1. Considering the phenomenon of mass imprisonment, explain Nils Christie’s (2000) idea of
‘dangerous states’ and present an informed argument for the minimum possible use of
punitive control by the state.
2. Section 3A of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999 outlines the official purposes of
These ‘purposes’ are often said to be in conflict. Analyse these stated purposes in light of the
broader philosophies of punishment in order to explain the tensions that are inherent in the
business of punishing. Your essay should present an informed argument on which purposes
and/or alternative understandings of justice should take precedence over others and why.
3. Has there been a move away from traditional theories of individual justice towards an
‘actuarial logic’ (Feeley & Simon 1992) in criminal justice? With reference to postsentence
controls and indefinite detention, discuss the implications of using risk calculations to justify
5. Are we moving away from the ‘civilising processes’ of modernism towards a ‘de
civilising’ (Pratt 1998; 2000) punitive sentiment that characterises contemporary retributive
practices in criminal justice? Discuss with reference to the concept of the ‘new punitiveness,’
increasing prison sentences and global rise in prison populations, and consider the social
implications of increasing the harshness of punishment.
Typing must be doublespaced 12point font (‘Times New Roman’ or ‘Cambria’) with wide
margins. Insert page numbers
must be exact 1,800 words