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JALE1014 - Drugs and Crime

Criminology Unit


One trimester



Credit points: 




Mode(s) of delivery:




Unit Objective

The unit commences by introducing students to key terms and substances before embarking on an historical examination of drugs, drug use and drug control.  The unit will then outline the nature and extent of drug use and dependency in Australian society, especially as it pertains to vulnerable populations including Indigenous Australians and youth, as well as the causes of use.  The unit will then address the link between drug use and other criminal behaviours, including organised crime. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this unit the student should be able to:

  • Understand key issues relating to licit and illicit substance use in society
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the historical and criminological, health and global perspectives that inform the drug debate
  • Examine the association between drugs and crime
  • Consider the relationship between young people and substances
  • Understand the role of the criminal justice system in attempts to control substance use
  • Understand recent drug policy and control initiatives

Unit Content

The unit analyses a range of policies to reduce drug use and its related issues including supply reduction, demand reduction and harm minimisation approaches.  Specific initiatives examined include diversion strategies, needle exchange programs, drug courts, education programs and injecting facilities.  Further examination will be made in the context of the criminal justice system, including the involvement of police, courts and corrections.  The unit concludes by considering the influence of the internet on the illicit drug market and assessing future trends. 

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.