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Diversity and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System

  • Module code: CM5004
  • Year: 2017/8
  • Level: Year 5
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: Completion of level 4 Sociology, Criminology or equivalent
  • Co-requisites: None

Summary

This module will enable students to contextualise criminology's past and present engagement with diversity and discrimination. The relationship between crime and discriminatory processes will be explored within different contexts such as within the law, prisons and cultural practices (e.g. FGM).  The responses of the criminal justice process to diversity will also be discussed and evaluated with regard to institutional racism and domestic abuse. In addition, students will critique the gendered social construction of the categories of 'offender' and 'victim', this will be further challenged by the exploration of female membership and affiliation with criminal gangs and their perpetration of crimes, and male victims of sexual violation.

Aims

  • To contextualise criminology's past and present engagement with diversity and discrimination.
  • To explore the relationship between crime and discriminatory practices.
  • To evaluate responses criminal justice agencies such as the police, courts and support agencies towards issues of diversity and discrimination.
  • To explore theoretical perspectives for understanding the development of policy and practice related to diversity and discrimination.

Learning outcomes

  • Demonstrate an understanding of  the conceptual and theoretical debates about 'difference' and 'diversity'.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the historical, legal and social context within which diversity and discrimination occurs
  • Critically analyse a range of issues, policies and practices in the criminal justice system that produce discriminatory outcomes .
  • Understand and apply principles of good practice to specific problems concerning the identification and redress of discrimination in the criminal justice system.
  • Critically evaluate the role of agencies involved in criminal justice provisions

Curriculum content

  • Defining difference and understanding diversity.
  • The social construction of difference and criminological theory.
  • Racial and cultural diversity and the experience of victimization.
  • Institutional discrimination and the culture of policing.
  • Tackling discrimination; avenues of redress and examples of good practice.
  • Disproportional treatment and penal sanctions
  • Agency responses to domestic abuse and male sexual assault
  • Legislative changes in the diversity and discrimation spheres
  • The exploration of the development of issues and policies for understanding and explaining the development of diversity and anti-discrimination policies in relation to areas such as hate crime; domestic abuse and honour crimes; sexual assault and female genital mutilation.

Teaching and learning strategy

  • A weekly two hour workshop will introduce key concepts and critically evaluate relevant claim-making.
  • Workshops will involve the completion of exercises and provide a forum for further debate enabling learning opportunities to explore and expand upon the topics discussed in the first part of the session. It also allows the use of more formative and visual media and facilitates improved student discussion regarding key features of the topic covered.
  • Preparation and background reading is required as the second part of these sessions will be student-led, encouraging debate, and examining the evidence and current literature, but is facilitated by a member of staff.
  • Independent learning skills will be developed throughout the module through directed reading, to supplement formal teaching and will be necessary to achieve the learning outcomes.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching 2 hour workshops 44
Guided independent study Reading, research activities 256
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Students' engagement with the academic material covered will be assessed via formative and summative assessments. The former will assess both individual and group-based tasks and enable the receipt of feedback in order for students to feed forward and develop their learning experience. The latter are outlined below. The workshop activities (which include critical evaluation and electronic resource-based exercises) that allow students to practice their new skills. Formative Assessments are used to monitor students' engagement with the topics covered and facilitate the provision of feedback in order to feed forward and enhance students' learning experience. These in-class activities provide the opportunity for students to demonstrate their emergent skills. The assessment types are outlined below.

Mapping of Learning Outcomes to Assessment Strategy (Indicative)

Learning Outcome Assessment Strategy
1) Demonstrate an understanding of the conceptual and theoretical debates about 'difference' and 'diversity'. 1,500 word Critical Essay (summative)
2) Demonstrate an understanding of the historical, legal and social context within which diversity and discrimination occurs 1,500 word Critical Essay (summative)
3) Critically analyse a range of issues, policies and practices in the criminal justice system that produce discriminatory outcomes. 1,500 word Annotated Bibliography 1,500 word Critical Essay (summative) Formative Assessment
4) Understand and apply principles of good practice to specific problems concerning the identification and redress of discrimination in the criminal justice system. 1,500 word Annotated Bibliography 1,500 word Critical Essay (summative) Formative Assessment
5) Critically evaluate the role of agencies involved in criminal justice provisions. 1,500 word Annotated Bibliography 1,500 word Critical Essay (summative) Formative Assessment

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK Annotated Bibliography 1500 Words 40
CWK Critical Essay 1500 Words 60
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

Achieving a pass

It IS NOT a requirement that any major assessment category is passed separately in order to achieve an overall pass for the module.

Bibliography core texts

Hart, C. (2001) Doing a literature search. London: Sage.

Hart, C. (2009) Doing a literature review. London: Sage.

Hudson, B. (2007) 'Diversity, crime and criminal justice' in M. Maguire, R. Morgan & R. Reiner (eds) The Oxford handbook of criminology. 4th edn.; Oxford: OUP.

Bibliography recommended reading

Maguire, M.; Morgan, R. & Reiner, R. et al. (eds.) (2012) The Oxford handbook of criminology, 5th edn.; Oxford: OUP.

Carlen, P. (ed.) (2011) Women and Punishment: The Struggle for justice. Cullompton: Willan.

Jones, S. (2000) Understanding violent crime.

Newburn, T. (ed.) (2009) Key readings in criminology. Cullompton: Willan.

Newburn, T. (2007) Criminology. Cullompton; Willan.

Walklate,S. (2004) Gender, crime and criminal justice. Cullompton: Willan.

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