This course will introduce students to a number of well-known criminological issues that are frequently of interest to the public. The course is designed for those who have a background in social science, socio-legal or policy studies; however it is not restricted only to those seeking to pursue a career in criminology. All topics will be explored mainly from the vantage point of sociology – and this is to challenge and discuss many taken-for-granted crime and punishment concepts and develop amongst course participants the criminological imagination. In criminology, crime and punishment are seen as social constructs and judicial and law enforcement services are recognized as social institutions generated in unique socio-political and economic contexts. We will introduce the Polish context of crime, punishment, and justice administration.
At the heart of European affairs, Poland is currently one of the best places to explore the notion of crime, punishment and justice. The case of Poland will serve as an example of how the criminal justice system in a Central-Eastern European society has been changing over the decades. Thus, the Polish penal landscape will be contextualized against three distinctive periods in Polish history: the time of ‘real socialism’ or communism that is considered as the time between 1944-1989, then the 1989 – 2004 period is defined as transition/transformation and finally the recent times are framed since Poland joined the European Union in 2004 – onwards.
The purpose of the course is to use a variety of perspectives and interactive tools to engage with a number of hotly debated criminological matters. With a view to balance theory with practice the course will also include film screenings, Q&A time with guest speakers as well as several visits to the Polish penal institutions to see firsthand how these broader criminological concepts operate in practice.
- Delineating Criminology
- Introducing the Polish Criminal Justice System
- Death Penalty
- Restorative Justice
- Women and Crime
- Drug Policy and Politics
- Media and Crime
- Police and Policing
Coursework And Assessment:
Assessment for the course will include class participation, video production as well as student presentation that will be discussed on the final day. Firstly, students will be asked to read course material, identify a topic of their interest and contextualise a relevant criminological issue. Then they will be expected to play a role of Policy Advisors, choose a presentation method (video production, academic poster, small photographic exhibition) that will visualise their ‘criminological’ classroom project, and argue suitable policy recommendations to the class.