SENTENCING AND PENAL POLICY - 2021/2
Module code: LAW2089
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, and in a departure from previous academic years and previously published information, the University has had to change the delivery (and in some cases the content) of its programmes, together with certain University services and facilities for the academic year 2020/21.
These changes include the implementation of a hybrid teaching approach during 2020/21. Detailed information on all changes is available at: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/coronavirus/course-changes. This webpage sets out information relating to general University changes, and will also direct you to consider additional specific information relating to your chosen programme.
Prior to registering online, you must read this general information and all relevant additional programme specific information. By completing online registration, you acknowledge that you have read such content, and accept all such changes.
This module is interdisciplinary in nature, tracing the private and public conceptualisations of sentencing and penal policy (the latter covering prisons and community corrections) through changing legal, political, economic, and social cultures.
School of Law
FIONDA Julia (Schl of Law)
Number of Credits: 15
ECTS Credits: 7.5
Framework: FHEQ Level 5
JACs code: M211
Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A
Prerequisites / Co-requisites
Indicative content includes:
Introduction to English sentencing
Sentencing aims, principles, and policies
Proportionality in sentencing
Aggravating and mitigating factors in punishment decisions
Sentencing dangerous offenders
Sociodemographic factors in criminal justice decisions
Procedural issues in sentencing
The penal crisis
|Assessment type||Unit of assessment||Weighting|
|Examination||Open Book Examination 2 hours||100|
The assessment strategy is designed to provide students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills as critical thinkers and communicators, while additionally showing their mastery of the course material.
Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of an open-book examination including a mix that might include a problem question, essay, and/or objective inquiries.
Students will be afforded the opportunity to prepare a formative assessment that will not count toward the final grade but may improve the students’ summative coursework.
Students submitting a timely formative assessment will be provided written feedback.
The assessment method for each module has been selected to test a variety of key skills, competences and outcomes as required by QAA. As such, the assessment method cannot be changed. Reasonable adjustment may be made on application subject to ALS approval AND only where such adjustment still allows for the required skills, key competences and outcomes to be assessed at an equivalent level.
- Help students develop skills in critical analysis, communication, and debate.
- Provide an overview of the nature and forms of sentencing.
- Assess the impacts that sentencing and penal policies can have on defendants, victims, families, and communities.
- Critically analyse how the system deals with “dangerous” offenders, such as sexual predators, terrorists, and serial recidivists.
- Explore cases and controversies in historical and contemporary societies regarding sentencing and penal policies.
- Draw theoretical insights from the academic domains of criminology, political science, psychology, and legal studies.
- Address contemporary developments in laws and policies focused upon sentencing and imprisonment and consider their effectiveness.
- Consider how to use limited prison beds effectively.
- Recognise the components of evidence-based rehabilitative programs.
|001||Identify and explain key theoretical explanations for designing an appropriate sentence (e.g., retribution, deterrence, incapacitation, rehabilitation).||KCPT|
|002||Identify and analyse the nature and forms that criminal punishments may entail, such as incarceration, probation, fines, electronic tagging, or orders.||KCPT|
|003||Identify procedural rules for sentencing decisions.||KCPT|
|004||Identify and contextualise the multiple impacts that criminal penalties can have on defendants, victims, families, and communities.||KCPT|
|005||Identify core dimensions underlying decisions regarding criminal penalties, including the intersections of gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, nationality, and social class.||KCPT|
|006||Delineate the processes and rules regarding early release from prison.||KCPT|
|007||Conceptualise how prison culture is related to prisoner health, welfare, and discipline, and how this might vary by gender.||KCPT|
C - Cognitive/analytical
K - Subject knowledge
T - Transferable skills
P - Professional/Practical skills
Overall student workload
Independent Study Hours: 122
Seminar Hours: 22
Tutorial Hours: 6
Methods of Teaching / Learning
The learning and teaching methods include:
An emphasis on interactive class discussion and debate.
Encouragement in spotting relevant social, policy, and legal issues.
Assigned readings and lecture material are integrated with class exercises.
Forms of media (film, audio, and print) highlighting issues relevant to the course content will be incorporated.
The summative examination is designed to allow students to demonstrate learning from the written materials, class discussions, and exercises.
Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: LAW2089
Programmes this module appears in
|Law LLB (Hons)||1||Optional||A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module|
Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2021/2 academic year.