Crime, Policy and Social Justice

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 02 July 2021
07 October 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M900 Criminology,
BA M901 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA M904 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA L333 Criminology with Counselling Skills,
BA L334 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Year Abroad),
BA L335 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Placement Year)

Module description

Criminal justice systems have particular functions in that they process crime and manage people. But what wider roles do or should they play in securing social justice more generally?
This module focuses on the courts, prosecution and legal aid, diversion and alternatives to incarceration, probation, release and resettlement, and restorative and transformative justice as sites for examining the relationships between social justice and criminal justice. It explores key ethical questions that emerge in these domains, analyses the relationship between policy and practice, and raises questions about the implications of criminological theory and research for practice.

Module aims

• To explore the structure and function of key criminal justice institutions.
• To consider criminal justice policies in relation to broader social policies.
• To explore the relationships between criminal justice, social policy and social justice.

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module, students will be able to apply key theoretical positions to the study of key criminal justice institutions and policies, and they will be able to analyse the relationship between policy and practice, with attention to the ethical and legal concerns that arise out of those policies and practices.

Module information

This course is available as a full year course or as an AUTUMN term half option.

Learning and teaching methods

No information available.


  • (no date) What is Procedural Justice? - YouTube.
  • McNeill, Fergus; Farrall, Stephen; Lightowler, Claire; Maruna, Shadd. (2012) The Road from Crime, Glasgow: Iriss.
  • Video links make court into "another virtual experience" - a prisoner speaks - Transform Justice,
  • In Conversation With.. Christopher Stacey - Unlock Charity JUSTICE With Prison Philanthropist Edwina Grosvenor podcast,
  • 29 - Racial injustice after George Floyd - Better Human Podcast | Listen Notes,
  • Tim Newburn. (2005) Youth Diversion.
  • Jacobson, Jessica; Hunter, Gillian; Kirby, Amy. (2015) Structured mayhem: personal experiences of the Crown Court.
  • (2017) The Oxford handbook of criminology, ©2017: Oxford University Press.
  • Axel Honneth. (2005) 'Invisibility: On the Epistemology of 'Recognition'', in Invisibility: On the Epistemology of 'Recognition'. vol. 130 (1) , pp.129-130
  • Bosworth, Mary. (2014) Inside immigration detention, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Carrington, Kerry. (2013) Crime, justice and social democracy: international perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • (no date) Fighting to change my criminal record - BBC Newsnight - YouTube.
  • Hale, Chris; Fitzgerald, Marian. (c2007) 'Social Exclusion and Crime', in Multi-disciplinary handbook of social exclusion research, Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd., pp.137-158
  • Lipsky, Michael. (1983-06-29) Street-Level Bureaucracy: Russell Sage Foundation Publications.
  • (2013) The borders of punishment: migration, citizenship, and social exclusion, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Reisch, Michael. (2002) 'Defining Social Justice in a Socially Unjust World', in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. vol. 83 (4) , pp.343-354
  • Guenther, Lisa. (2013-01-01) Solitary Confinement: Social Death and Its Afterlives: University of Minnesota Press.
  • Lavalette, Michael; Pratt, Alan. (2006) Social policy: theories, concepts and issues, London: SAGE.
  • Richard Wilkinson: How economic inequality harms societies | TED Talk,
  • Cook, Dee. (2006) Criminal and social justice, London: SAGE.
  • (Wednesday, 9 Oct 2019) Crime and Punishment: Channel 4.
  • (2016) Policing the planet: why the policing crisis led to black lives matter, London: Verso.
  • Policing during the pandemic: an insight into racism in the UK | openDemocracy,
  • Smith, Thomas; Cape, Ed. (2019) 'The rise and decline of criminal legal aid in England and Wales', in Access to justice and legal aid: comparative perspectives on unmet legal need, Oxford: Hart Publishing., pp.63-86
  • McNeill, Fergus; Robinson, Gwen. (2016) 'Explaining Probation', in Probation: 12 essential questions, London: Palgrave Macmillan., pp.245-262
  • Adil | Bail for Immigration Detainees,
  • Donohoe, Martin. (2012-10-10) Public Health and Social Justice, New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons Inc.
  • (no date) Spatial Justice - YouTube.
  • Farmer, Paul. (c2005) Pathologies of power: health, human rights, and the new war on the poor, Berkeley: University of California Press. vol. 4
  • Reality Check: policing of people who use drugs during the COVID-19 pandemic - Transform Drug Policy Foundation,
  • As Domestic Abuse Rises, U.K. Failings Leave Victims in Peril - The New York Times,
  • Crime and Consequence | Clinks,
  • (no date) Accommodation and support for adult offenders in the community and on release from prison.
  • Morris, Patricia McGrath. (2002-08) 'The Capabilities Perspective: A Framework for Social Justice', in Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services. vol. 83 (4) , pp.365-373
  • (no date) Double Discrimination? The impact of criminal records on people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
  • Craig, Gary; Burchardt, Tania; Gordon, David. (c2008) Social justice and public policy: seeking fairness in diverse societies, Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Elliott-Cooper, Adam. Department of Geography, King’s College London, London, United Kingdom, (2018) 'The struggle that cannot be named: Violence, space and the re-articulation of anti-racism in post-Duggan Britain.', in The struggle that cannot be named: Violence, space and the re-articulation of anti-racism in post-Duggan Britain.. vol. 41 (14) , pp.2445-2463
  • Davis, Angela Y. (2003) 'Introduction: Reform or Abolition?', in Are prisons obsolete?: Seven Stories Press.
  • Marlon Peterson: Am I not human? A call for criminal justice reform | TED Talk,
  • Robinson, M. (2010) Assessing Criminal Justice Practice Using Social Justice Theory.
  • Flavio Comim; Mozaffar Qizilbash; Sabina Alkire. (2008) The capability approach: concepts, measures and applications, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Patricia Justino. (March 12, 2020 10.26am EDT) 'Welfare works: redistribution is the way to create less violent, less unequal societies', in The Conversation.
  • (Thursday, 2 Apr 2015) Panorama: DIY Justice: BBC News 24.
  • BRUCE WESTERN. (2014) 'Incarceration, Inequality, and Imagining Alternatives', in Incarceration, Inequality, and Imagining Alternatives., pp.302-306
  • (Monday, 4 Sep 2017) Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets: BBC1 London.
  • Bilge, Sirma. (2016) 'What is Intersectionality', in Intersectionality.
  • (no date) Introduction to Restorative Justice - YouTube.
  • Tankebe, Justice; Gutierrez-Gomez, Laura. (2017) 'Procedural Justice', in The Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Theory, Oxford, UK: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., pp.1-3
  • Viewpoint: Imagining a world without prisons - BBC Ideas,
  • Li, Cho-kiu; Tong, Kin-long. (2020-05-01) '“We Are Safer without the Police”', in Radical History Review. vol. 2020 (137) , pp.199-216
  • (no date) We can’t achieve peace without addressing structural violence | Temi Mwale | TEDxWarwick - YouTube.
  • Westaby, ChalenFowler, AndrewPhillips, JakeWaters, Jaime. (2020) 'Conformity, conflict and negotiation in criminal justice work: Understanding practice through the lens of emotional labour.', in Conformity, conflict and negotiation in criminal justice work: Understanding practice through the lens of emotional labour.. vol. 61 (2020)
  • Smith, Roger. (2020-02-03) 'Diversion, Rights and Social Justice', in Youth Justice., pp.147322542090284-
  • The Secret Barrister: Justice in a pandemic – Channel 4 News,
  • Kim, Monica; Djagalov, Rossen. (2020-05-01) 'Restorative Posters', in Radical History Review. vol. 2020 (137) , pp.217-228
  • Fine, Michelle; Torre, María Elena; Boudin, Kathy; Bowen, Iris; Clark, Judith; Hylton, Donna; Martinez, Migdalia; Missy; Roberts, Rosemarie A.; Smart, Pamela; Upegui, Debra. (2003) 'Participatory action research: From within and beyond prison bars.', in Qualitative research in psychology: Expanding perspectives in methodology and design., Washington: American Psychological Association., pp.173-198
  • (no date) Distributive Justice.
  • Price, Joshua M. (2015) Prison and social death, New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
  • Freire, Paulo. (2014) Pedagogy of the Oppressed.
  • (2009-05-28) I Am Your Sister Collected and Unpublished Writings of Audre Lorde, New York: Oxford University Press Inc.
  • Tilley, Nick. (c2005) Handbook of crime prevention and community safety, Cullompton: Willan Publishing.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Purposeful Reading Assignment 1    5% 
Coursework   Blog 1    5% 
Coursework   Essay 1     35% 
Coursework   Webquest 1 Autumn term     2.5% 
Coursework   Webquest 2 Autumn term     2.5% 
Coursework   Purposeful Reading Assignment 2     10% 
Coursework   Webquest 3 Spring term     2.5% 
Coursework   Webquest 4 Spring term     2.5% 
Coursework   Essay 2     35% 
Exam  Main exam: 24hr during Summer (Main Period) 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Alexandra Cox, email:
Dr Katerina Hadjimatheou, email:
Dr Alexandra Cox
Jane Harper, Student Administrator, Telephone: 01206 873052 E-mail:



External examiner

Dr Jennifer Fleetwood
Goldsmiths, University of London
Senior Lecturer in Criminology
Available via Moodle
Of 2745 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
2745 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information
Sociology and Criminology

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