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CRIM2034 - Issues in Criminal Justice

Criminology Unit


One trimester



Credit points: 




Mode(s) of delivery:




Unit Objective

This unit encourages students to think critically about criminal justice issues and how they manifest in the experiences of those who come into contact with criminal justice systems. On completing this unit students will have a broader understanding of contemporary criminal justice issues and be able to critically engage in debates that question its effectiveness and role in a changing society.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of issues that confront the CJS in undertaking its work in a changing society;
  • Understand the relationship between social control and criminal justice;
  • Analyse the place of minority groups and victims and their respective roles within the criminal justice system;
  • Evaluate the methods and purpose of alternative dispute resolution and diversion programs;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the informal functions of law enforcement, court and correctional systems;
  • Evaluate crime prevention theories and strategies.

Unit Content

This unit introduces students to a range of critiques that arise in the context of criminal justice in action. It examines how relationships of power manifest within criminal justice systems, including how this impacts on what behaviours are defined as criminal and whether justice is applied universally. It takes a critical look at the effectiveness of traditional criminal justice, including the sustainability of current imprisonment practices. This unit also considers some innovative forms of justice that have arisen in both international and Australian contexts, and the emergence of justice reinvestment as a principle. The unit finishes by critically examining some contemporary challenges to criminal justice in Australia.

Unit Workload

1 x 2 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial each week for 12 weeks. The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week

Assessment summary

Assessment information provided at the commencement of the unit in the online class space


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of trimester.