This module is assessed via a POLICY REPORT. Maximum word count: 3000 words.
Module Assessment Guidance:
Identify a contemporary issue in penology for which a governmental change in policy could be implemented, for example, overcrowding in UK prisons. Your job, as an advisor to the Ministry of Justice of UK, is to develop a policy solution to this issue, make a recommendation to the UK government for a relevant change in policy or legislation, and present a reasoned and evidenced argument as to why this change would be effective. You should also consider how the impact of the change would be monitored. In making your proposal, you should work to the following 4 headings:
1.Outline of the penal issue
This should include: any relevant statistics or facts to contextualise the problem; information about existing practice, good and bad; a clear rationale for why this should be addressed.
In this section you need to demonstrate a clear understanding of the issue in the contemporary context.
2. Proposed change to current practice/ policy/ legislation
This should include: an explanation of the proposal; theoretical explanations for why this intervention/ policy would be effective and evidence of likely impact from research/ practice in the UK or overseas.
Here you are demonstrating your understating of theory, your knowledge of research in the area nationally and internationally where appropriate, and your ability to apply theory to practice.
3. Any potential issues in implementation
This might include implications for the sector (staff, management, offenders); political and public acceptability and resistance; resources.
Here you are demonstrating your understanding of the complexities of the penal system, and the impacts of politics, public opinion and the media on the running of the penal system.
4. How you will monitor the success of the change
This would be a method for evaluating the success of the reform. What would success look like? Would you need statistics (e.g. reoffending rates, suicide rates, levels of public satisfaction), or would you need more qualitative data from staff, offenders, the public, managers etc?
Here you are demonstrating your ability to apply research methodologies to the area. You are also demonstrating your understanding of the relationship between punishment, the state, the media and the public.
The policy report should be:
Well organised, clearly written report using evidence relevant to the topic you have chosen;
Thoroughly researched and thought out;
Based on key issues in penology;
Based on relevant sources which are used and referenced appropriately.
This module assessment will assess the following 4 learning outcomes, which are:
1.Discuss relevant philosophical theories in penology
2.Analyze classic and contemporary research relating to punishment
3.Discuss the complexities of local and national management of penal services
4.Analyze the relationship between punishment policy, the state, the media and the public